A Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court will hear various petitions related to the abrogation of Article 370 of the Indian Constitution starting from today. The bench will be headed by Justice NV Ramana.
There exists totally 34 petitions on this matter that have challenged the abrogation of Article 370 (special status to the former state of Jammu and Kashmir), Article 35A (special power to the state to identify its subjects and under this women who married non Kashmiris lost their residency rights) and the Jammu and Kashmir (Reorganization) Act, 2019. These petitions have been lodged by some eminent citizens.
The government in its affidavit has argued that Article 370 which was temporary in nature, created a “separatist mindset” among the residents of the former state and that the state could never derive benefits of development like other states. It also said that this Article created a group of elites who captured power and denied the benefits of developments to the common people. The affidavit also argued that militants from across the border used it to their advantage and instigated the people against the Indian Union.
The government had abrogated Articles 370, 35A and moved the Jammu and Kashmir (Reorganization) Bill in the Lok Sabha on August 5th. Both houses of the parliament passed it with overwhelming numbers and it received the President’s assent sometime on August 8th. It divided the former state into two Union Territories: Jammu and Kashmir (with a State Legislature) and Ladakh.
The Supreme Court had refused to stay the operation of the Reorganization Act and had postponed the matter for hearing subsequently.