New Delhi, March 01 (KMS): The Indian Supreme Court will decide, tomorrow, if the petitions challenging the abrogation of Article 370 that granted special status to Jammu and Kashmir should be heard by a larger bench of not less than seven judges.
The bench headed by Justice Ramana and also comprising justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul, R Subhash Reddy, BR Gavai and Surya Kant had reserved its verdict on the issue of reference on January 23.
Senior counsel, Dinesh Dwivedi, who appeared in the case, had pointed out that two previous SC judgments, Prem Nath Kaul (1959) and Sampat Prakash (1968), are at loggerheads with regard to the scope and intent of Article 370. Since both these judgments were delivered by benches of five judges, Dwivedi had asked the court to refer the issue to a bench of seven or more judges.
In Sampat Prakash judgement, the Supreme Court held that Article 370 will cease to be operative only if the President issues a direction to that effect on a recommendation made by the Constituent Assembly of Jammu & Kashmir.
In Prem Nath Kaul verdict, the Supreme Court ruled that plenary powers of the ruler of Kashmir were not limited by Article 370. The temporary provisions of Article 370, the court ruled, were based on the assumption that the ultimate relationship between India and Jammu & Kashmir would be finally determined by the Constituent Assembly of Jammu & Kashmir.
India had unconditionally abrogated the special status of Kashmir and divided it into two union territories on August 5, 2019.
At least 23 petitions were filed in the top Indikan court challenging the decision to abrogate Kashmir’s special status.