New Delhi, December 11 (KMS): India’s decision to abrogate provisions of Article 370 was unconstitutional since people of Jammu and Kashmir were bypassed as any proposal for altering the constitutional status of Jammu and Kashmir should emanate from its citizens, said one of the petitioners in the Indian Supreme Court.

A five-judge bench headed by Justice N V Ramana, which commenced hearing on batch of pleas challenging the constitutional validity of India’s decision, was told by the petitioner that it was in violation of the Constitution as orders were passed in disregard of consent of people of J&K.

Provisions of Article 370, which gave special status to Jammu and Kashmir, were abrogated by New Delhi on August 5. A number of petitions have been filed in the matter including that of private individuals, lawyers, activists and political parties and they have also challenged the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act 2019, which splits J&K into two Union Territories – Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh.

Senior advocate Raju Ramachandran, appearing for bureaucrat-turned-politician Shah Faesal, Shehla Rasheed and other petitioners, said that Jammu and Kashmir was under President’s rule from December 19, 2018 till October 31 this year and “will of the people” was not there in the concurrence given by state for abrogation of provisions of Article 370. He told the Bench, also comprising justices S K Kaul, R Subhash Reddy, B R Gavai and Surya Kant, that powers of the President and Parliament during period of proclamation under Article 356 is in its very nature temporary and it cannot be used to bring irreversible constitutional changes.

“The record indicates that neither the President nor the Governor held any consultations on the issue either with the public at large or with members of the legislative council,” Ramachandran said in his outline of submissions which was handed over to the Bench.

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