Monday, August 19, 2019 | ePaper

Omar Abdullah's Party challenges Indian Govt's J&K move in SC

  • Print


Former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister and National Conference leader Omar Abdullah.

AP, New Delhi:
Omar Abdullah's National Conference has appealed in the Supreme Court against the government's move to scrap Jammu and Kashmir's special status and divide the state into two union territories. In its petition - filed by party MPs Akbar Lone and Hasnain Masoodi - the party claimed the centre's move was "illegal".
Omar Abdullah and another former chief minister Mehbooba Mufti and hundreds of political leaders are under arrest as the state remains under lockdown. More than 50,000 security personnel have been deputed in the state in addition to the regular troops to maintain law and order.
The National Conference has contended that the special status has been given to Jammu and Kashmir under the Constitution and the presidential order to scrap them is constitutionally invalid, since the consent of the assembly of Jammu and Kashmir has not been taken.
The government has clarified that since the state was under President's rule, the powers of the assembly of Jammu and Kashmir devolved upon parliament, empowering it to speak for the state.
The government has used a provision under the Article 370 that empowers the President to declare the special status inoperative anytime. The Section 3 of the Article 370 states: "Notwithstanding anything in the foregoing provisions of this article, the President may, by public notification, declare that this article shall cease to be operative or shall be operative only with such exceptions and modifications and from such date as he may specify".
The petition has argued that the President himself was acting on the advice of the union cabinet, so it amounts to the "same constitutional functionary taking its own consent, to effect a fundamental structural change without consultation or concurrence of the persons affected by that change, or their elected representatives". This, the petition said, was "arbitrary" and "contrary to the rule of law".
The petition further said the Jammu and Kashmir (Reorganisation) Act, 2019 - under which the state was divided into two union territories, is "constitutionally invalid".
The Constitution does not permit parliament to retrogressively downgrade statehood into a less representative form such as a union territory, the petition said.
Ending the special status was a "total betrayal of the trust that the people of Jammu & Kashmir had reposed in India when the State acceded to it in 1947," Omar Abdullah had earlier tweeted.
Today's petition said the government decision "amounts to an overnight abrogation of the democratic rights and freedoms guaranteed to the people of the State of Jammu and Kashmir upon its accession".
Another regional leader, Mehbooba Mufti of the PDP also attacked the Centre over the move and called it 'the darkest day in Indian democracy'.Her party's MPs Nazir Ahmad Laway and MM Fayaz had attempted to tear the constitution when the bill was introduced in the upper house. Fayaz also tore his kurta in protest.
The scrapping of Article 370 has led to split legal opinion on the validity of Centre's move, while several legal experts agree with the government that the J-K Governor had the authority to recommend its abrogation in the absence of J&K Assembly, several others suggest it was against the spirit of the Article.
Whether Article 370 should have been treated as a permanent or temporary provision, was also debated by legal luminaries and political parties across the spectrum.
Parties in Jammu and Kashmir suggest that special provisions in Article 370 enabled J&K's accession to India and disabling it is beyond the remit of Indian constitution.
Under Article 370 of the constitution, the state of Jammu and Kashmir enjoyed complete autonomy and the state legislature was free to draft its own laws except in the areas of communications, defence, finance, and foreign affairs, while non-state subjects were prohibited from purchasing land in the state.

More News For this Category

British MPs press Johnson to recall parliament over Brexit

British MPs press Johnson to recall parliament over Brexit

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson came under pressure Sunday to immediately recall lawmakers from their summer holiday so parliament can debate Brexit.More than 100 MPs have written to Johnson to

Iranian tanker to leave Gibraltar soon despite US pressure

Iranian tanker to leave Gibraltar soon despite US pressure

AP, Gibraltar :The shipping agent for an Iranian supertanker caught in a diplomatic standoff says the vessel is ready to depart Gibraltar on Sunday or Monday, as the U.S. made

Ukraine peace the prize as Macron hosts Putin

Ukraine peace the prize as Macron hosts Putin

AFP, Paris :French President Emmanuel Macron will attempt to convince Russia to accept Ukraine's overtures of dialogue when he meets Vladimir Putin for talks on Monday ahead of a G7

Man charged after New York scare over rice cookers

Man charged after New York scare over rice cookers

AFP, New York :A young homeless man has been charged with placing false bombs, police said Saturday, after three empty rice cookers caused major commuter disruption in New York.Larry K.

Dueling rallies in Portland end with no major violence

Dueling rallies in Portland end with no major violence

AFP, Portland :A far-right rally and leftist counter-demonstration in the city of Portland, Oregon wrapped up Saturday amid a heavy police presence with no major incidents, following fears that violent

News In Brief

Russia says no plans to install new missiles unless US deploys themReuters, MoscowRussia will not deploy new missiles as long as the United States shows similar restraint in Europe and

Pelosi assails ‘weakness’ of Trump and Netanyahu

Pelosi assails ‘weakness’ of Trump and Netanyahu

AP, Washington :House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Friday the U.S.-Israel relationship can withstand the "weakness" of President Donald Trump and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who shook diplomatic norms this week

Empty rice cookers create bomb scare in New York

Empty rice cookers create bomb scare in New York

AP, New York :New York went on alert for two hours Friday during the morning rush hour because of three suspicious objects that turned out to be empty rice cookers.Police

US govt to go ahead with $8b sale of F-16 fighter jets to Taiwan, angering China

US govt to go ahead with $8b sale of F-16 fighter jets to Taiwan, angering China

Agencies, Washington :The Trump administration is pushing ahead with a US$8 billion sale of 66 F-16 fighter aircraft to Taiwan, according to two influential senators, a move expected to add

Hundreds defy restrictions, join protests in Kashmir

Hundreds defy restrictions, join protests in Kashmir

AP, New Delhi :Hundreds of people protested an unprecedented security crackdown and clashed with police Friday in Indian-controlled Kashmir, as India's government said it was constantly reviewing the situation in