Supreme Court Set to Deliver Verdict on the Validity of Ending J&K Special Status Today

The legality of the Centre's decision to revoke Article 370, which granted Jammu and Kashmir special status and resulted in the division of the state into two Union Territories, is under scrutiny. The Supreme Court is anticipated to make a decision on this constitutional matter today.

Dec 11, 2023 - 02:16
Dec 16, 2023 - 05:27
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Supreme Court Set to Deliver Verdict on the Validity of Ending J&K Special Status Today
The top court has questioned who can recommend the revocation of Article 370.

New Delhi: The Supreme Court is poised to deliver a crucial verdict today on the constitutional validity of the Centre's decision to abrogate Article 370, stripping Jammu and Kashmir of its special status and reorganizing it into two Union Territories. Here are the key points surrounding this significant development:

  1. Petitions Challenging Centre's Move

    The verdict, expected from a five-judge Constitution bench led by Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud, follows a series of petitions challenging the Centre's move made four years ago.

  2. Contested Scrapping of Article 370

    Petitioners argue that Article 370 cannot be unilaterally revoked by the Centre, emphasizing that the powers of the Constituent Assembly were vested in the J&K legislature after its dissolution in 1957.

  3. Questions on Revocation Process

    The Supreme Court has raised questions about the revocation process of Article 370, asking who can recommend its revocation and how the article attained permanence after the dissolution of the Constituent Assembly.

  4. Centre's Legal Framework Defence

    The Centre defends its actions, asserting that decisions were made within the legal framework. It contends that mainstreaming Jammu and Kashmir has reduced terrorism and fostered a more equitable playing field.

  5. Development Track

    The government argues that over the past four years, the reorganization has expedited the region's development, putting it on a fast-track trajectory.

  6. Deprivation of Fundamental Rights

    The Centre maintains that Article 370 deprived J&K residents of fundamental rights, including the right to education, as Constitutional rights applicable to all Indians did not automatically extend to them without approval from the state legislature.

  7. Scrapping of Article 35A

    Article 35A, scrapped alongside Article 370, reserved special privileges for J&K residents, limiting rights for people from other parts of the country regarding jobs, land ownership, and settlement in the region.

  8. Security Measures

    Enhanced security measures are in place in the Kashmir Valley in anticipation of the verdict. The BJP urges respect for the Supreme Court's decision.

  9. Political Responses

    Opposition leaders, including Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti, express their commitment to maintaining peace and hope for a verdict in favour of the people.

  10. Historical Context

    Article 370 was revoked, and Jammu and Kashmir was reorganized in August 2019, over a year after the collapse of the PDP-BJP alliance government, during a period of President's Rule in the region.

The Supreme Court has issued its verdict on the constitutional validity of the Centre's move to revoke Jammu and Kashmir's special status by scrapping Article 370. The ruling, delivered by a five-judge Constitution bench led by Chief Justice DY Chandrachud, addresses critical legal questions that have been the subject of intense debate.

Central to the court's deliberations were queries concerning the process of revoking Article 370 and who holds the authority to recommend such a revocation. Additionally, the court examined the constitutional validity of the Centre's decision, especially regarding the powers transferred from the dissolved Constituent Assembly to the J&K legislature.

The government's stance, asserting that its actions were within the constitutional framework, found favour in the court's verdict. Acknowledging the government's argument that the move facilitated the mainstreaming of Jammu and Kashmir, fostering development and equitable opportunities, the court has given its nod to the legality of the decision.

The impact on fundamental rights was a crucial consideration in the verdict. The court acknowledged that scrapping Article 370 and Article 35A extended fundamental rights to all residents of Jammu and Kashmir, bringing them in line with the rest of the country.

Following the verdict, security measures remain heightened in the Kashmir Valley, reflecting the sensitivity of the issue. Political responses, including statements from leaders such as Omar Abdullah, Mehbooba Mufti, and various opposition parties, emphasise the importance of respecting the court's decision and maintaining peace.

The verdict carries significant national implications, extending beyond the boundaries of Jammu and Kashmir. It not only shapes the discourse on federalism and constitutional interpretations but also sets the stage for a potential recalibration of the region's political landscape and its relationship with the rest of the country.

Legal experts and political observers are expected to closely scrutinise the detailed judgment to gain a deeper understanding of the court's reasoning and the potential precedents it may set for similar constitutional matters in the future. The Supreme Court's decision marks a defining chapter in the legal history of Jammu and Kashmir, with far-reaching consequences for its political, legal, and constitutional future.

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