'File Memo. We Will See'

TNN Bureau. Updated: 7/11/2019 11:22:05 AM Front Page

Supreme Court on urgent hearing of PIL against Art 370

JAMMU/NEW DELHI: Regional politics in Jammu and Kashmir is set to heat up this monsoon as the Supreme Court has said that it would consider a request seeking urgent hearing of a Public Interest Litigation challenging Article 370.
The PIL and subsequent plea for urgent hearing has been moved by Ashwani Upadhyay, a low key member of the Bhartiya Janta Party and an advocate by profession. Even as repeal of Article 370 has always remained a core policy matter for the BJP but there is a reiteration of commitment through the latest mandate the party has got through the Lok Sabha elections.

Reports said, a bench comprising Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justices Deepak Gupta and Aniruddha Bose has taken note of the submission of Upadhyay that his PIL be listed for an urgent hearing. "File a memo. We will see," the bench is reported to have said.

On February 18 this year as well, he had mentioned the PIL for urgent listing for the hearing.

Upadhyay, in his plea which was filed in September last year, has contended that the special provision was "temporary" in nature at the time of framing of the Constitution and Article 370(3) lapsed with the dissolution of the Jammu and Kashmir Constituent Assembly on January 26, 1957.

The plea also seeks a declaration from the apex court that the separate Constitution of Jammu and Kashmir was "arbitrary" and "unconstitutional" on various grounds, including that it was against the "supremacy of the Constitution of India and contrary to dictum of 'One Nation, One Constitution, One National Anthem and One National Flag'".

"The Constitution of Jammu and Kashmir is invalid mainly for the reason that the same has not yet got the assent of the President, which is mandatory as per provisions of the Constitution of India," the plea, which may come up for hearing next week, said.

The petition, filed through advocate R D Upadhyay, claims that the maximum life span of Article 370 was only till the existence of the Constituent Assembly, that was January 26, 1950 when the national document was adopted.

Article 370 is a "temporary provision" with respect to Jammu and Kashmir and restricts the applicability of various provisions of the Constitution by "curtailing" the power of Parliament to make laws on subjects which fall under the Union and Concurrent lists, it said.

Consequently, it allows the state to accord special rights and privileges to the natives, the plea said.

It claimed that the Article empowered the state legislature to frame any law without attracting a challenge on the grounds of violation of the right to equality of people from other states or any other right under the Constitution.

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