The Supreme Court will pronounce the judgement on petitions challenging the abrogation of Article 370 of the Constitution on Monday, December 11. Special status was accorded to Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370, which was subsequently revoked by the government on August 6, 2019.
On September 5, a Constitution Bench led by Chief Justice of India D.Y. Chandrachud had concluded the hearing and reserved its judgment.
The hearings, encompassing 16 days, featured presentations from both petitioners and the government on the constitutionality of the procedure employed to revoke Article 370 and the elimination of Jammu and Kashmir's statehood.
What did the govt argue?
The government, presented by Attorney-General R. Venkataramani, Solicitor-General Tushar Mehta, and advocate Kanu Agrawal, contended that the abrogation was imperative for the complete integration of Jammu and Kashmir into the Union of India. The government asserted that the Valley had experienced prosperity in the four-and-a-half years following the repeal of Article 370 in August 2019. It further stated that elections were imminent in J&K, and the region would regain full statehood once the situation on the ground normalized.
Mehta asserted that Jammu and Kashmir transitioned into a Union Territory in an "extraordinarily extreme situation." He highlighted that, following the abrogation in 2019, instances of terrorism, infiltration, stone-throwing, and casualties among security personnel had diminished by 45.2%, 90.2%, 97.2%, and 65.9%, respectively.
What did the petitioners argue?
The petitioners, represented by a team of senior lawyers including Kapil Sibal, Gopal Subramanium, Rajeev Dhavan, Dushyant Dave, and Gopal Sankaranarayanan, contended that the Union, leveraging its parliamentary majority, utilized executive orders through the President to transform a full-fledged state into the Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh. They characterized this move as an assault on federalism and a violation of the constitutional framework.
The petitioners argued that Article 370 attained a permanent status once the Jammu and Kashmir Constituent Assembly dissolved in 1957 following the framing of the State Constitution. Mr. Sibal emphasized that Article 368 (Parliament's power to amend the Constitution) did not apply to Article 370.