New Delhi: National Conference (NC) leader Muhammad Akbar Lone, who had reportedly raised ‘Pakistan Zindabad’ slogans in the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly, has sworn an affidavit before the Supreme Court stating that he reiterates his oath to preserve and uphold the provisions of the Constitution of India and to protect territorial integrity of India.
"I am a responsible and dutiful citizen…. I reiterate the oath taken while being sworn as Member of Parliament to preserve and uphold the provisions of the Constitution of India and to protect territorial integrity of India," said the affidavit filed by Lone, who is one of the main petitioners contending retention of Article 370.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, representing the Centre, questioned the contents of the affidavit filed by the J&K leader as the same did not specifically contain that Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of India.
"This is adding injury to the nation," he said, requesting the court to "read what is not written" in the affidavit.
At this, the bench said: "We will analyse this."
On Monday, the CJI D Y Chandrachud-led Constitution Bench, hearing pleas against abrogation of Article 370, had asked Akbar Lone to file a short affidavit affirming that Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of India and he abides by and owes allegiance to the Constitution of India.
It said that the NC leader has invoked jurisdiction of the Supreme Court under Article 32 of the Constitution and therefore, "necessarily abides by an allegiance to the Constitution".
The Union government had urged the Supreme Court that the NC leader should file an affidavit that he owes allegiance to the Constitution of India and opposes terrorism and secessionism by Pakistan in Jammu and Kashmir.
Mehta had said that if Akbar Lone is not asked to file an affidavit after the matter has been brought to the top court’s attention, it "might encourage others” and “efforts of the nation to bring in normalcy (in the Union Territory) might be affected".
Reportedly, Lone had reportedly uttered pro-Pakistan slogans in the State Assembly and hesitated to identify himself as an Indian and as per media reports, he claimed that J&K accession with India is not complete.
The 5-judge Constitution Bench, also comprising Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul, Sanjiv Khanna, B R Gavai, and Surya Kant, reserved its judgment on Tuesday in the batch 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.