J&K: 3 yrs on, NC urges CJI to form bench for hearing pleas challenging Art 370 abrogation

As three years elapsed since the abrogation of Article 370, the National Conference urged CJI NV Ramana to form a bench to hear the pleas challenging this move. A number of petitioners including NC Lok Sabha MPs Mohammad Akbar Lone and Hasnain Masoodi, CPI(M) leader Mohammed Yousuf Tarigami, advocate ML Sharma, retired bureaucrats Amitabha Pande and Gopal Pillai had moved the Supreme Court challenging the revocation of the special status of Jammu and Kashmir and the bifurcation of the state into the Union Territories of J&K and Ladakh. The NC vowed to continue the democratic and legal fight to reverse this.

The apex court referred the aforesaid pleas to a 5-judge Constitution Bench for consideration in August 2019. On March 2, 2020, the Constitution bench dismissed a plea seeking the transfer of this case to a 7-judge bench and stated that it would continue to hear the matter on merits. However, the case was not heard thereafter owing to the COVID-19 pandemic. While the SC agreed to reconstitute the 5-judge bench and indicated that the matter could be taken for hearing after the summer vacations this year, it is yet to be listed. 

Will continue democratic, legal fight to reverse Aug 05 2019 decisions: JKNC

Requests CJ Supreme Court to constitute bench to begin hearings in the matter.

— JKNC (@JKNC_) August 4, 2022

Article 370 abrogation & formation of PAGD

A Presidential notification combined with requisite legislation passed by both the House of Parliament in August 2019 led to Article 370 becoming virtually redundant. This implied that the special status of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) was scrapped. Furthermore, the region was bifurcated into the Union Territories of J&K and Ladakh. Thereafter, restrictions on the movement of people and communication were imposed in the state, which were gradually lifted over the months.

After leaders such as former Chief Ministers Farooq Abdullah, Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti were released post months of detention, 6 political parties joined hands to form the People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration in August 2020. The principal aim of this alliance is to strive for the restoration of Articles 370 and 35A and statehood. Subsequently, PAGD emerged as the single-largest party in the first-ever District Development Council polls in J&K by bagging 110 seats. 

In May this year, the two-year-long delimitation process, which is seen as a precursor to the Assembly polls, came to an end. In accordance with the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, 2019, the strength of the J&K Assembly has increased from 83 to 90, with Jammu getting 6 new seats while Kashmir, which has traditionally garnered the lion’s share of seats, bagged only one extra seat. Thus, Jammu and Kashmir will have 43 and 47 seats respectively. On the other hand, 9 and 7 seats have been reserved for STs and SCs respectively.

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