Article 370 Verdict: Supreme Court Upholds Central Govt’s Decision
The Supreme Court of India has made a landmark decision regarding Article 370, which deals with the special status of Jammu & Kashmir. The Supreme Court has upheld the Central Government’s decision to remove Article 370, which had given special status to Jammu & Kashmir. This is a major ruling that has been awaited for a long, long time.
Supreme Court’s Decision on Article 370
The Chief Justice of India, DY Chandrachud, along with Justices Gavai and Surya Kant, made this decision. They stated that Article 370 was a temporary provision in the Constitution, and the President of India has the authority to revoke it.
This decision is seen as a big boost for Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) as we approach the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.
It’s important because the removal of Article 370 was a significant pledge made by the BJP in their election campaign, and they fulfilled it in August 2019.
Implications of the Verdict for Jammu & Kashmir
The Court was hearing petitions (by opposition political parties) that were challenging the Central Government’s actions to remove the special status of Jammu & Kashmir and divide it into two Union Territories – Jammu & Kashmir, and Ladakh.
Since the abrogation of Article 370, there have been various changes in the region, including restrictions on movement and internet connectivity.
The Supreme Court mentioned that the decision taken by the Centre during the Presidential rule in the state cannot be legally challenged as it would bring the administration to a standstill. The Court also noted that the state of Jammu & Kashmir did not retain an element of sovereignty when it joined the Union of India.
Next Steps: Elections In Jammu & Kashmir
Additionally, the Court directed the Election Commission of India to conduct assembly elections in Jammu & Kashmir by September 30, 2024. This is a key step towards restoring normal political processes in the region.
The Attorney General and the Solicitor General represented the Centre in this case. On the other hand, senior advocate Kapil Sibal represented the petitioners. The petitioners argued that Article 370 had become a permanent feature post the dissolution of the Constituent Assembly of Jammu & Kashmir, and the Centre could not scrap it unilaterally.
Responses To The Article 370
In response to the Article 370 verdict by the Supreme Court, Prime Minister Narendra Modi called it historic and a testament to unity and hope for Jammu, Kashmir, and Ladakh. Home Minister Amit Shah also welcomed the decision. They highlighted the benefits that have been brought to the region since the abrogation of Article 370.
This verdict from the Supreme Court is seen as a significant milestone in the ongoing journey of integrating Jammu & Kashmir more closely with the rest of India and is likely to have far-reaching political and social implications.