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J&K Political Parties See Hope in Supreme Court Hearing on Article 370

The apex court would hear a batch of more than 20 petitions challenging the abrogation of Article 370 on July 11.
Art 370: Nervousness Punctures Confident Bluster

Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) political parties see a glimmer of hope with the Supreme Court (SC) set to hear a batch of petitions challenging the abrogation of Article 370 on July 11.

The apex court said that it would hear a batch of more than 20 petitions nearly five years after Article 370 was revoked, Article 35A scrapped and J&K downsized to two Union Territories on August 5, 2019. The decision was opposed by a majority of regional representative groups and political parties as “illegal” and “arbitrary”. 

An SC Constitution Bench headed by Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud and Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul, Sanjiv Khanna, BR Gavai and Surya Kant would hear the petitions.

Former chief ministers Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti expressed their faith in the judiciary as they welcomed the SC’s decision to hear the petitions. 

Welcome Hon’ble SC’s decision to finally hear petitions pending since 2019 challenging the illegal abrogation of Article 370. I hope justice is upheld & delivered for the people of J&K. The SC ruling on Article 370 maintained that the provision can be abrogated only on the recommendation of the J&K constituent assembly,” Mufti tweeted.

Abdullah said: “Finally the bench is constituted. I look forward to the hearings beginning in right earnest now.”

Congress leader Salman Anees tweeted that if the SC “carefully assesses the actions of August 5, 2019, I have no doubt that it will conclude that the Modi Government engaged in blatant subversion of Constitutional provisions, unlawfully disempowered the people of J&K, and dealt a blow to Indian democracy”.

Senior CPI(M) leader and former MLA MY Tarigami hoped that the decision will be withdrawn with the region returning to the pre-August 5 status. 

Welcoming the decision of the constitutional bench, albeit delayed, to take up a clutch of petitions challenging the abrogation of article 370 and division of the historic state. The move was an assault on the constitutional order and was taken without the consent of the people. We hope the unilateral decision taken on August 5, 2019 is rolled back and justice delivered,” he tweeted.

Tarigami, the spokesperson of People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration, which advocates for the restoration of Article 370, had filed a plea for early hearing of the writ petitions filed against the abrogation in the top court in August 2021.

Shah Faesal, one of the petitioners, meanwhile claimed that he has withdrawn his petition and termed Article 370 a “thing of the past”.  

370, for many Kashmiris like me, is a thing of the past. Jhelum and Ganga have merged in the great Indian Ocean for good. There is no going back. There is only marching forward,” the IAS topper tweeted.

Faesal had earlier resigned to float his political party called the Jammu and Kashmir Peoples Movement only to abandon it and return to his bureaucratic job. Currently, a deputy secretary in the Ministry of Culture, he was amongst thousands of Kashmiris arrested in the wake of August 5 move against which he had remarked, “You can either be a stooge or a separatist now”. 

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