New Delhi: The Supreme Court will on Tuesday begin hearing on a clutch of petitions challenging the constitutional validity of the revocation of the provisions of Article 370. The Article, which granted special status to the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir, was withdrawn by the Centre on August 5 this year.
A five-judge bench headed by Justice NV Ramana and comprising Justices SK Kaul, R Subhash Reddy, BR Gavai and Surya Kant will begin the hearing on the plea filed by National Conference, Sajjad Lone-led J&K Peoples Conference and CPI(M) leader Mohd Yousuf Tarigami.
In a detailed affidavit, the Centre has justified the decision, claiming that the presence of Article 370 in the Constitution for over seven decades had created a separatist mindset among the Kashmiris. The 61-page counter-affidavit of the Ministry of Home Affairs had said Article 370 was replaced on August 5 to fully integrate the erstwhile State of Jammu and Kashmir with the rest of the country. The government had claimed that Article 35A itself was ambiguous and a serious obstacle to the socio-economic development of Jammu and Kashmir.
Earlier on November 14, the bench had refused to pass any interim order on the pleas saying it might lead to delay in the matter and the court would settle all the issues at one go after hearing all the parties.
On Monday, Justice Ramana asked the Solicitor General Tushar Mehta and senior advocate Raju Ramachandaran to come prepared on the issues. The court asked for a common compilation to streamline the process of hearing.
Earlier, the apex court had put restrictions on fresh plea challenging the revocation of Article 370, and also said it would hear only two pleas, which have raised important issues.
Besides, these two petitions, other petitions are also pending before the court. A plea was filed by Shah Faesal, bureaucrat-turned-politician, along with Shehla Rashid, and there was another plea filed by a group of former bureaucrats and defence officers challenging the Centre`s decision.