What is Article 370?
Article 370 acknowledges the special status of the state of Jammu and Kashmir in terms of autonomy and its powers to formulate laws for the state’s permanent residents. In the 1954 Presidential order, among other things, the Fundamental Rights in the Indian Constitution were made applicable to Kashmir with exceptions.
Supreme Court on Monday refused to refer the issue of scrapping Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir to a larger bench. The 5-judge Supreme Court bench will proceed to hear the cases associated with Article 370.
The Supreme Court rule is confined to the issue of whether there a larger bench needs to hear the cases related to Article 370.
The Supreme Court has refused to refer to a larger bench a batch of cases, challenging the constitutional legality of the August 5 decision of the Centre of repealing provisions of Article 370.
A five-judge constitution bench headed by Justice NV Ramana will continue to hear the batch of petitions on Article 370.
NGO People’s Union of Civil Liberties (PUCL), Jammu and Kashmir High Court Bar Association and an intervenor had sought to refer the matter to a larger bench.
The petitioners solicited reference to a larger bench on the ground that two judgments of the Supreme Court — Prem Nath Kaul versus Jammu and Kashmir in 1959 and Sampat Prakash versus Jammu and Kashmir in 1970 — which dealt with the issue of Article 370 are in direct opposition each other and therefore the current bench of five judges could not hear the matter.
Attorney General KK Venugopal, looking for the Centre, had told the Supreme Court bench — also comprising Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul, R Subhash Reddy, B R Gavai and Surya Kant — that “the abrogation of provisions of Article 370, has now become a “fait accompli” leaving sole right to accept the change”.
Referring to the two earlier judgments, KK Venugopal had told that they were not related to each other and dealt with different issues.