New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Tuesday granted four weeks time to the Centre to respond to petitions challenging abrogation of Article 370 which gave autonomy and special status to Jammu and Kashmir. The five-judge Constitution Bench posted all matters relating to Artice 370 for November 14, the next date for hearing the case. The deadline for implementing Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, however, ends on October 31.
The five-judge Constitution Bench of Justices NV Ramana, Sanjay Kishan Kaul, R Subhash Reddy, BR Gavai and Surya Kant said that the four weeks will give sufficient time for the petitioners to respond to affidavit filed by the Centre and Jammu and Kashmir.
The petitions have challenged the constitutional validity of the Centre's decision and subsequent presidential orders on scrapping the provisions of Article 370 and Article 35A from Jammu and Kashmir. These petitions have also challenged the bifurcation of the former state into the Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh.
After the Centre files its response, the petitioners will get one week to reply. Attorney General KK Venugopal, appearing on behalf of the Central government, pleaded for more time from the court which was opposed by the petitioners and one of their lawyers Raju Ramachandran. They pointed out Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act will be efffective from October 31.
Several petitions have been filed in Supreme Couty, which includes pleas by the National Conference, Sajjad Lone-led Peoples Conference and several other individuals, and also a plea by advocate ML Sharma, who was the first to move the court on the matter.