Four years after the revocation of Jammu and Kashmir's special status, the Supreme Court declared on Monday that the Centre's decision to abrogate Article 370 was constitutionally valid. The apex court emphasised that Article 370 was initially a temporary provision due to war-like conditions in the state. Chief Justice DY Chandrachud stated, "We hold the exercise of presidential power to issue a constitutional order abrogating Article 370 of the Constitution as valid."
After a 16-day hearing, the top court, led by a five-judge Constitution bench consisting of Chief Justice DY Chandrachud and Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul, Sanjiv Khanna, BR Gavai, and Surya Kant, reserved its verdict on September 5. The bench addressed a batch of pleas challenging the abrogation.
The Supreme Court delivered a significant verdict on the abrogation of Article 370, and here are some of the notable quotes from the judgment:
- Every decision taken by the Union on behalf of the State during Presidential Rule is not open to challenge. This will lead to the administration of the state to a standstill.
- The argument of petitioners that the Union cannot take actions of irreversible consequences in the State during Presidential Rule is not accepted.
- President's order to scrap Jammu and Kashmir's special status is constitutionally valid.
- Article 370: The Constituent Assembly of Jammu and Kashmir was never intended to be a permanent body: CJI.
- When the Constituent Assembly of Jammu and Kashmir ceased to exist, a special condition for which Article 370 was introduced ceased to exist: CJI.
- Holding that the power under Article 370(3) ceases to exist after the dissolution of the Jammu and Kashmir Constituent Assembly will lead to the freezing of the process of integration: CJI.
- Article 370: The CJI says the recommendation of the Constituent Assembly of Jammu and Kashmir was not binding on the President of India.
- The Supreme Court also asked the Election Commission of India (ECI) to hold elections in Jammu and Kashmir by September 30, 2024.
- We direct that steps shall be taken by the Election Commission of India to conduct elections to the Legislative Assembly of Jammu and Kashmir constituted under Section 14 of the Reorganisation Act by 30 September 2024; restoration of statehood shall take place at the earliest and as soon as possible: CJI.
- The requirement of Jammu and Kashmir Constituent Assembly's recommendation in Article 370 can't be read in a manner making larger intention redundant: Justice Kaul.
- Justice SK Kaul in concurring judgment with the CJI says the purpose of Article 370 was to slowly bring Jammu and Kashmir at par with other Indian states.
Supreme Court directs Election Commission to conduct polls
The Supreme Court emphasised on Monday the importance of promptly restoring the statehood of Jammu and Kashmir, urging that elections to the Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Assembly should be conducted without delay. The apex court further directed the Election Commission of India to initiate necessary measures to conduct the polls by September 30, 2024. Chief Justice Chandrachud added, "We direct that steps shall be taken so that elections are held in Legislative Assembly of J&K by September 30, 2024."