SC reserves verdict on pleas contesting the repeal of Article 370

The Supreme Court has reserved its verdict on a group of petitions challenging the abrogation of Article 370 of the Constitution, which granted special status to the former State of Jammu and Kashmir. The decision was made by a five-judge bench led by Chief Justice DY Chandrachud after a lengthy 16-day hearing.

During the final day of the hearing, senior advocates Kapil Sibal, Gopal Subramanium, Rajeev Dhavan, Zaffar Shah, Dushyant Dave, and others presented their rejoinder arguments.

The Supreme Court has allowed lawyers representing petitioners or respondents to submit written submissions within the next three days, with a limit of two pages.

Throughout the 16-day hearing, the court heard arguments from Attorney General R Venkataramani, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, and senior advocates Harish Salve, Rakesh Dwivedi, and V Giri, who represented the Centre and the intervenors defending the abrogation of Article 370.

The legal discussions covered various aspects, including the constitutional validity of the Centre’s decision to abrogate Article 370 on August 5, 2019, the validity of the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, which divided the former State into two Union Territories, and challenges related to the imposition of Governor’s rule and President’s rule in Jammu and Kashmir.

Several petitions challenging the abrogation of Article 370 and the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, 2019, which led to the creation of the Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh, were referred to a Constitution bench in 2019.

Additionally, National Conference leader Mohd Akbar Lone filed an affidavit in the Supreme Court, reaffirming his commitment to preserving and upholding the provisions of the Indian Constitution and protecting the country’s territorial integrity. This came in response to the controversy surrounding his alleged chanting of “Pakistan zindabad” in the Jammu & Kashmir Assembly in 2018.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta objected to the content of Lone’s affidavit, arguing that it lacked remorse for his alleged conduct. Lone is the lead petitioner challenging the abrogation of Article 370, which granted special status to Jammu and Kashmir.