The Supreme Court has asked that National Conference (NC) leader Mohd Akbar Lone provide an affidavit confirming his allegiance to the Indian Constitution and acknowledging India's sovereignty. This decision followed accusations that he had chanted 'Pakistan Zindabad' in the Jammu & Kashmir assembly in 2018, leading to a significant controversy.
Mohd Akbar Lone, spearheading the legal challenge against the revocation of Article 370, has been instructed to submit the affidavit no later than Tuesday. Senior advocate Kapil Sibal, representing Lone, conveyed this directive to a five-judge bench presided over by Chief Justice DY Chandrachud. Sibal underscored that Lone, as a Member of Parliament and a citizen of India, has taken an oath to uphold the Constitution and recognises India's sovereignty.
Earlier today, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, representing the government, called upon Mohd Akbar Lone to issue an apology for the purported 'Pakistan Zindabad' slogan he is accused of uttering in the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly back in 2018. The government's position is that Mohd Akbar Lone should express his commitment to the Constitution and make amends for the incident by apologising.
Omar Abdullah, former CM of J&K and leader of National Conference, reacted to the Supreme Court directive and said, "The directions of the Supreme Court will be fulfilled in toto...The affidavit as required by the Chief Justice will be filed before the end of proceedings...It is important to go beyond what has happened in the Supreme Court today...Why something that was said in the assembly in 2018 has become an issue in the Supreme Court in 2023...The speaker was of the BJP, What action did they take against Mohammad Akbar Lone...Now they are raising the issue because the government is tensed..."
On September 1, a Kashmiri Pandit organisation raised doubts about Mohd Akbar Lone's qualifications in the Supreme Court, alleging that he aligns himself with secessionist factions. Additionally, an NGO named 'Roots in Kashmir' submitted an intervention application, contending that Lone is recognized for his support of secessionist elements in Jammu and Kashmir who advocate for Pakistan.