Pleas Challenging GOI Moves In J&K: Applicant Moves SC For Early Hearing

Supreme Court of India – File Pic

Srinagar: An application has been moved before the Supreme Court of India seeking early hearing of the petitions challenging the abrogation of Jammu and Kashmir’s special status and the subsequent orders issued post August 5, 2019, online portal Live Law reported on Monday.

The petitioner Advocate Shakir Shabir has submitted before the top court that in pursuance of the impugned Constitution (Application to Jammu and Kashmir) Order, 2019 which had been promulgated on 5th August, 2019, the Respondents  (Union of India) “are continually proceeding ahead with further changes in laws concerning the erstwhile State of Jammu and Kashmir, which has now been split into two distinct Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir & Ladakh”.

According to the report, the application further submits that all consequent acts of the government, including the recent changes to land laws in the Union Territories, derive authority from the impugned order or subsequent orders, and are therefore also illegal and void ab initio.

“….by the mere passage of time, such illegal and unconstitutional actions risk to render the captioned petition infructuous while rendering permanency to the impugned order(s),” reads the application, as per the report.

The application has also listed the developments which have cultivated post the impugned order and changes made to Article 370 of the Indian Constitution. It also highlights that despite the changes being portrayed to be for the betterment of the populace of the erstwhile State,

“the truth remains that it is the very people who are presently suffering in the midst,” the applicant says.

“Not only due to repeated internet shutdowns and reduced internet speeds have the students and businesses been suffering in Jammu and Kashmir, the impugned order and the slew of restrictions continually damage the economy as well as the everyday life of the locals, who have been completely kept away from the entire process despite the fact that each change under the laws detrimentally affects the locals at an individualistic level,” he adds.

With reference to the batch of pleas that are pending before the Supreme Court, the Application submits that notice was issued on 28.08.2019 and the matter had been referred to a Constitution Bench.

“After a Senior Counsel raised the preliminary issue of reference of the matter to a larger Bench, it was decided that the same would be argued first. The judgement on this limited point was pronounced on 02.03.2020 and it was held that there was no reason to refer the pleas to a larger Bench on the questions considered,” the report says.

It further adds that before the Court could hear the petitions, the Court started functioning in a restricted manner due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“However, as the number of matters being heard daily has increased and the appropriate infrastructure has been placed, the Application seeks for the pleas pertaining to the challenge to the changes made to Article 370 to be heard at the earliest,” the report adds.



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