SC Refuses To Pass Any Interim Direction On Pleas Over Article 370

NEW DELHI – The Supreme Court Thursday refused to pass any interim order on a batch of pleas challenging the constitutional validity of the Centre’s decision to abrogate the provisions of Article 370, which gave special status to erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir.

A 5-judge Constitution bench headed by Justice N V Ramana said that passing any interim order might lead to delay in the matter and the apex court would settle all the issues at one go after hearing all the parties.

The bench, also comprising Justices S K Kaul, R Subhash Reddy, B R Gavai and Surya Kant, said that it would hear arguments in the matter on December 10.

The top court also asked the Centre to respond to two fresh petitions which have raised issues related to abrogation of the provisions of Article 370.

The court, which had earlier put an embargo on filing of any fresh writ petition challenging the abrogation, said it would hear these two pleas as they have raised important issues.

It also asked the parties to prepare a common compilation of all the documents so that hearing of the matter becomes easier.

Besides, the two fresh pleas, a batch of petitions are pending before the apex court.

Several political parties including the National Conference (NC), the Sajjad Lone-led J&K Peoples Conference and CPI (M) leader Mohd Yousuf Tarigami have filed pleas challenging Centre’s August 5 decision to abrogate Article 370.

The petition on behalf of NC was filed by Lok Sabha MPs Mohammad Akbar Lone and Justice (retd) Hasnain Masoodi. In 2015, Justice (retd) Masoodi had ruled that Article 370 was a permanent feature of the Constitution.

A plea was also filed by a group of former defence officers and bureaucrats — professor Radha Kumar, ex-member of Home Ministry’s Group of Interlocutors for J&K (2010-11), former J&K cadre IAS officer Hindal Haidar Tyabji, Air Vice Marshal (retd) Kapil Kak, Major Gen. (retd) Ashok Kumar Mehta, ex-Punjab-cadre IAS officer Amitabha Pande and ex-Kerala-cadre IAS officer Gopal Pillai.

Besides, a plea has been filed by bureaucrat-turned-politician Shah Faesal, along with his party colleague Shehla Rashid.

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