J&K Constitution: SC notice to Centre, state govts

The court ordered tagging of the petition with other similar pleas related to validity of Article 35A of the Constitution, which granted special status to residents of Jammu and Kashmir.

A group of citizens led by a retired Army major, who faced charges in the 2008 Malegaon blast, approached the Supreme Court challenging constitutional validity of a separate Constitution for Jammu and Kashmir.

A bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and K M Joseph on Tuesday issued notice to the Centre and the Jammu and Kashmir government on a writ petition filed by Major Ramesh Upadhyay and others.

The court ordered tagging of the petition with other similar pleas related to validity of Article 35A of the Constitution, which granted special status to residents of Jammu and Kashmir.

The petitioners, represented by advocate Vishnu Shankar Jain, challenged the provisions of 'The Constitution (Application to Jammu and Kashmir) Order 1954' issued by the President of India, claiming it infringed the fundamental and civil rights of the citizens of India.

They sought a declaration that the Constituent Assembly, which enacted the Constitution of Jammu and Kashmir, 1957 was not legally constituted and as such the said Constitution is void.

Among others, they also sought a declaration that the Parliament has absolute powers to amend, rescind or repeal Article 370 of the Constitution in exercise of the powers under Article 368.

“The petitioners want to do something for the state of Jammu and Kashmir and to work for the progress of the state. For this purpose they want to purchase property in the state for frequent visits and smooth working but their right to purchase property has been taken away,” they contended.

Contravenes Act

They pointed out under the Indian Independence Act, 1947, there was no provision for conditional accession. In fact, it conferred on the rulers of the Indian states absolute power in their discretion to accede to either of the two dominions - India or Pakistan. Therefore, any condition in the instrument of accession contravened the Indian Independence Act,1947 and such condition would have no impact in subsequent relations and administration of those territories.

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J&K Constitution: SC notice to Centre, state govts

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