Art 370 can’t be unilaterally abrogated: Ex-SC judge

Justice V Gopala Gowda, retired Supreme Court Judge speaking at Constitution, Democracy, Jammu and Kashmir discussion programme organised by AIDWA, AIPF, AIPWA, CPI (ML)L, DSS, ESG Vimochana and other organisations at Jai Bhi Bhavan in Bengaluru on Sunday. Photo by S K Dinesh

The Supreme Court has ruled that Article 370 is a permanent feature of the Constitution, which cannot be unilaterally abrogated, a retired judge of the top court said. 

Speaking at a seminar on ‘Constitution, Democracy and Jammu and Kashmir here on Sunday, Justice (retired) V Gopala Gowda said that the Centre had “erred” by not taking the mandatory consent of the J&K legislative assembly before amending Article 370. This amounts to a violation of the terms of the Instrument of Accession, by which Kashmir had become a part of India, he added. 

CPI(ML) (Liberation) leader Kavita Krishnan, who visited the valley from August 9 to 13, said Kashmir had now turned into a “giant prison”. 

She said Kashmiris described Article 370 as a marriage contract. Now that India has ended the relationship, “they can only keep us through military force”, she quoted them as saying. She called the ongoing blockade in J&K as a “war against people”. 

Mohan Raj, of the Dalita Sangharsha Samiti (Bheemavada), said the abrogation of Article 370 showed the government’s lack of respect for the Constitution. 

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