There will be a hearing on appeals challenging the repeal of Article 370 giving J&K special status in the SC
A petition for early listing of submissions challenging the Centre’s decision to abrogate Article 370, which had given Jammu and Kashmir special status, was heard in the Supreme Court on Wednesday.
Upon the request of intervenor Radha Kumar, an academic and author, a bench consisting of Chief Justice D Y Chandrachud and Justice P S Narasimha said that they would examine the issue and provide a date.
It may be noted that a bench headed by the then Chief Justice of India, N V Ramana, who has since retired, had previously agreed to list for hearing the appeals challenging the Centre’s decision to abrogate provisions of Article 370 earlier on April 25 and September 23.
Since ex-CJI Ramana and Justice R Subhash Reddy, who were members of the five-judge bench that heard the petitions, have retired, the apex court will have to reassemble a five-judge bench to hear the petitions.
As well as the two former judges, Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul, B R Gavai, and Surya Kant served on the bench that declined, on March 2, 2020, to refer the batch of petitions challenging the constitutional validity of the Centre’s decision on August 5, 2019 to abrogate provisions of Article 370 to a larger seven-judge bench.
In 2019, the then Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi referred several petitions challenging the Centre’s decision to abolish Article 370 and the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, 2019, which split the region into two Union Territories — Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh. Justice Ramana headed the Constitution Bench.
Abolition of Article 370 had resulted in the revocation of Jammu and Kashmir’s special status by the central government.
In requesting referral to a larger court, the NGO, People’s Union of Civil Liberties (PUCL), Jammu and Kashmir High Court Bar Association, and an intervenor argued that two decisions by the Supreme Court regarding Article 370 – Prem Nath Kaul versus Jammu and Kashmir in 1959 and Sampat Prakash versus Jammu and Kashmir in 1970 – conflicted, making it impossible for the current five-judge bench to hear the case.
The bench was of the opinion that there is no conflict between the judgments, disagreeing with the petitioners.