Key Highlights from Day 13 of Supreme Court’s Hearing on Article 370 Abrogation

Centre unable to provide a timeline for J&K’s statehood restoration, but will hold elections soon; CJI Chandrachud emphasizes that the case will be decided based on constitutional arguments, not the Centre’s statistics

On August 31, 2023, the Union Government informed the Supreme Court that it cannot provide a definite timeline for the restoration of statehood in Jammu and Kashmir, but it is prepared to conduct elections. The government also clarified that the Union Territory status of Jammu and Kashmir is temporary. The Solicitor General stated that the inability to give a precise timeframe for elections is due to the ongoing law and order disturbances in the valley. However, he assured the court that significant progress has been made towards restoring statehood. The decision to hold elections lies with the Election Commission of India and the Election Commission of State. The petitioners’ counsel, Kapil Sibal, opposed the statistics provided by the Centre regarding the normalcy in the valley. Chief Justice of India clarified that the case will be decided based on constitutional arguments, not the statistics presented by the Centre. The court previously noted that there has been substantial bridging of the gap between the autonomy of Jammu and Kashmir in 1950 and its integration in 2019. The abrogation of Article 370 on August 5, 2019, by the Central Government led to the revocation of Jammu and Kashmir’s special status. Numerous petitions challenging the abrogation were referred to a Constitution Bench in 2019. The Supreme Court hearing on Article 370 abrogation has concluded for the day.

Challenging the Repeal of Article 370

Get the latest updates on the ongoing Supreme Court proceedings regarding the abrogation of Article 370 through The Hindu’s coverage. On August 31, 2023, Chief Justice of India D.Y. Chandrachud asked the Union government about the restoration of Jammu and Kashmir’s statehood. While allowing the government to argue that the conversion of the region into a Union Territory was for national security reasons, the Chief Justice pushed for a commitment from the government regarding the timeline for restoring full statehood. Additionally, Chief Justice Chandrachud questioned whether the President of India could have overridden the recommendation of the Constituent Assembly of Jammu and Kashmir on the abrogation of Article 370. The Chief Justice raised this question to Attorney-General R. Venkataramani during the hearing conducted by a Constitution Bench. Stay updated on further developments by reading more here.

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