Judgment awaited on pleas against scrapping of Article 370 and J&K bifurcation

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New Delhi: The Supreme Court has concluded its hearing on the pleas against the scrapping of Article 370 and the division of the former state of Jammu and Kashmir into two Union Territories.

The matter was heard by a five-judge Constitution bench headed by Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud, along with Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul, Sanjiv Khanna, BR Gavai, and Surya Kant. The bench reserved its verdict after 16 days of arguments.

One of the petitioners, National Conference leader and former judge Justice (retd) Hasnain Masoodi, expressed satisfaction with the arguments. He said that all aspects were covered strongly.

The Supreme Court allowed the lawyers representing the petitioners or the respondents to submit written submissions within three days. It said that the submissions should not be more than two pages long. During the 16-day hearing, the top court heard from Attorney General R Venkataramani, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, senior advocates- Harish Salve, Rakesh Dwivedi, V Giri, and others who defended the Centre’s decision to abrogate Article 370 and the intervenors who supported it.

The lawyers argued on various issues such as the constitutional validity of the Centre’s August 5, 2019 move to revoke the provision, the validity of the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganization Act that split the former state into two union territories, the imposition of governor’s rule in Jammu and Kashmir on June 20, 2018, and The imposition of President’s Rule on December 19, 2018, and its extension on July 3, 2019.

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Several petitions challenging the abrogation of Article 370 and the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganization Act, 2019 were referred to a constitution bench in 2019. The Jammu and Kashmir Reorganization Act, 2019 resulted in the creation of two Union Territories – Jammu Kashmir and Ladakh from the former state.’