CPI(M) leader moves SC for early hearing on Article 370

Kashmiri CPI(M) leader asks SC to fix hearing on plea against Article 370 decision 

The changes came into effect on October 31, 2019, after being notified in the official gazette

Supreme Court of India. Credit: PTI Photo

Kashmiri CPI(M) leader Mohammed Yousuf Tarigami has once again knocked on the doors of the Supreme Court praying for an early hearing to his plea of a batch of petitions, including the challenge to the Centre’s decision to abrogate provisions of Article 370.

In an affidavit submitted before the apex court on Friday, Tarigami, a four-time MLA from Kulgam Assembly constituency, has prayed for an early date to his batch of petitions filed in December 2019, besides passing orders “as deemed fit and proper” by the court in the circumstances of the case.

He had challenged the validity of the Jammu and Kashmir (Reorganisation) Act, 2019 (The Reorganisation Act) as being unconstitutional. The senior party leader said despite the fact that the petition is pending before the Supreme Court since 2019, the central government has taken some “irreversible actions”.

He said the Centre has constituted a delimitation commission to mark boundaries in the territory for all the constituencies before an assembly election can be held. 

Pointing out the changes made by the central government, the plea said the Centre made amendment of the Jammu and Kashmir Development Act allowing persons who were not permanent residents to buy land in Jammu and Kashmir if it is not agricultural land. 

The plea said it has closed down institutions such as the J&K State Women’s Commission, J&K State Accountability Commission, J&K State Consumer Protection Commission and J&K State Human Rights Commission.

The CPI(M) leader said his plea ought to be heard on an expedited basis otherwise the petition itself would be rendered infructuous in view of the irreversible actions of the government. Besides, a delay would cause grave injustice to him, his plea contended.

"... If the matters are not heard urgently, grave injustice will be caused to the applicant. In such view of the matter, the applicant hereby is seeking an early hearing of said writ petitions,” the petition filed by Advocate PV Dinesh on behalf of the petitioner reads.

Around two dozen petitions challenging the validity of the J&K Reorganisation Act 2019 -- which divided the erstwhile state into two union territories -- and nullification of Article 370 remain pending before the Supreme Court for two years. The Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act has already been acted upon. The changes came into effect on October 31, 2019, after being notified in the official gazette.

Besides Tarigami’s CPI(M), National Conference (NC), and Sajjad Lone-led J&K Peoples Conference have filed pleas challenging Centre’s August 5 decision to abrogate Article 370.

On August 5, 2019, the Union government announced its decision to revoke the special status of Jammu and Kashmir and divided the erstwhile state into two Union territories. A five-judge Bench in March 2020 had declined to refer to a larger seven-judge bench a batch of petitions challenging the constitutional validity of the Centre's decision.

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