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Article 370 abrogation - SC Judgement

Article 370 abrogation - SC Judgement 
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 The abrogation of Article 370 of the Indian Constitution, which provided special status to Jammu and Kashmir (J&K), represents a significant legal and constitutional development in India. This abrogation was upheld by the Supreme Court of India in a detailed judgment, analyzing its constitutional validity.


Key Legal Modifications


1. **Abrogation Process**: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), in its election manifesto for 2009, 2014, and 2019, affirmed its intention to abrogate Article 370. Following its victory in the 2019 elections, the BJP government proceeded with two Presidential Orders—CO 272 and CO 273 on August 5 and 6, 2019, respectively. The first order reinterpreted 'Constituent Assembly' in Article 370 as 'Legislative Assembly' of the state, enabling the President to modify or abrogate Article 370 with the concurrence of the BJP-led Parliament. The second order declared that Article 370 ceased to operate, integrating J&K fully into the Union of India.


2. **Reorganisation of J&K**: Subsequent to the abrogation, the Parliament passed the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, 2019, on August 9, 2019. This Act bifurcated the state into two Union Territories—Jammu and Kashmir (with a legislative assembly) and Ladakh (without a legislative assembly).


3. **Removal of Special Status**: The special status granted to J&K was removed. This meant that the Indian Parliament’s legislative powers over J&K were no longer confined to limited subjects, and the Constitution and other Indian laws became applicable to J&K just like other states and union territories. The Constitution of Jammu and Kashmir became redundant, and the region no longer had a separate flag. Additionally, the privileges granted to the permanent residents of J&K, particularly concerning property ownership, were dissolved.


Historical Figures and Their Role


1. **Maharaja Hari Singh**: His decision to accede to India in 1947 under certain conditions led to the incorporation of Article 370 in the Indian Constitution, granting special status to J&K.


2. **Political Leaders' Reactions**: Post-abrogation, former J&K Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti criticized the decision as altering the demographics of a Muslim-majoritarian state and removing its autonomy. Senior Congress member P. Chidambaram and other party leaders expressed criticism, highlighting the unprecedented reduction of a state to a Union Territory.


3. **International Reactions**: Pakistan and China opposed the move, claiming it breached their territorial sovereignty. However, the Indian government maintained that the issue was an internal matter and did not breach any international borders.


Supreme Court’s Decision and Directions


The Supreme Court's decision covered several aspects:


- The court upheld the constitutionality of the Presidential Orders and the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, 2019.

- It ruled that J&K did not retain any element of sovereignty separate from India.

- Article 370 was deemed a temporary provision, allowing for its abrogation.

- The court rejected the argument that irreversible actions could not be taken in the State during Presidential rule.

- It directed the Election Commission to conduct J&K Legislative Assembly elections by September 30, 2024, and emphasized the swift restoration of J&K’s statehood.

- Justice SK Kaul recommended the establishment of a Truth and Reconciliation Committee to investigate human rights violations in the state since the 1980s.

Chronology of the Case

  • The case involved multiple writ petitions challenging the constitutional validity of Presidential Orders 272 and 273, and the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act.
  • These petitions were filed after the government's decision on August 5, 2019, to revoke Article 370 and reorganize Jammu and Kashmir.
  • The Supreme Court heard extensive arguments from petitioners and the government, culminating in this detailed judgment.

This judgment and the abrogation of Article 370 have profound implications for the legal and constitutional landscape of India, particularly regarding federalism, democracy, and the rule of law【59†source】【60†source】【61†source】【62†source】.




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