New Delhi, Aug 21: The Supreme Court on Monday junked a PIL seeking declaration that abrogation of Article 370 and deletion of Article 35A by the President was valid and constitutional.
A bench comprising Chief Justice of India D.Y. Chandrachud and Justices J.B. Pardiwala and Manoj Misra termed the plea as “misconceived” and said that such a declaration cannot be issued by the apex court, particularly when the question of constitutional validity is already pending adjudication before the Supreme Court.
Notably, a 5-judge Constitution Bench headed by CJI Chandrachud is hearing a clutch of petitions challenging the 2019 Presidential Order taking away the special status accorded to the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir and its bifurcation into two Union Territories.
The Constitution Bench, also comprising Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul, Sanjiv Khanna, B.R. Gavai, and Surya Kant, is hearing the matter consecutively from August 2, except for Mondays and Fridays.
In an affidavit filed before the top court, the Central government has defended the revocation of the special status of Jammu and Kashmir saying that its decision to dilute Article 370 has brought unprecedented development, progress, security, and stability in the region.
The Union Home Ministry said that the street violence, engineered and orchestrated by terrorists and secessionist networks has now become a thing of the past and and the “organised stone pelting incidences connected with terrorism-separatist agenda, which were as high as 1,767 in 2018 has come down to zero in 2023 till date”.
The Centre stressed that it has adopted a policy of zero tolerance against terrorism and after constitutional changes, the security situation in Jammu and Kashmir has improved significantly.
In the pending matter, intervention applications have also been filed by Kashmiri Pandits supporting Centre’s move stripping special status accorded to the erstwhile state of J&K.