Supreme Court will review Centre's Article 370 move, issues notice
The Supreme Court will review the constitutional validity of the BJP-led Centre's decision to abrogate provisions of Article 370, a CJI Ranjan Gogoi-headed bench said on Wednesday. While hearing a bunch of petitions, the bench issued a notice to the government, asking it to file a response by the first week of October. The matter will be taken up by a five-judge constitutional bench.
To recall, the Centre annulled provisions of the contentious article earlier this month and divided Jammu and Kashmir into two UTs, namely Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh. The move was opposed by mainstream politicians of the border state, and also by parties like Congress and CPI(M). Subsequently, a bunch of petitions were filed in the top court challenging the government's decision.
In court today, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta and Attorney General KK Venugopal opined that the notice shouldn't be issued. "This has cross-border implications," said Mehta. Meanwhile, calling it a sensitive matter, Venugopal said things said inside courtroom will be sent to the United Nations. But the arguments didn't break the ice and CJI Gogoi said, "We have passed an order, we won't change it."
Separately, the bench also allowed a Kashmiri student to visit his parents while asking forces to provide him security. "The petitioner student Mohammad Aleem Sayeed shall be allowed to travel to Jammu and Kashmir, visit Anantnag, visit his parents and file an affidavit after his return," the court said. Notably, J&K has been under an unprecedented security cover for weeks now.
Apart from this, the bench, also including Justices SA Bobde and SA Nazeer, gave permission to CPM leader Sitaram Yechury to visit his colleague Mohammed Yousuf Tarigami. J&K has been off-limits for politicians. In fact, just last Saturday Opposition leaders were sent back from Srinagar. Meanwhille, Centre had argued that Yechury's visit seems to be a political one, which could affect situation on ground.
"We will allow you to visit. You are going only to meet your friend? A citizen of this country wants to meet his friend. What's the difficulty? If he is a citizen of this country, he will go," CJI Gogoi said.