Article 370 revoked: 5-judge Constitution bench to begin hearings today
In August, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led Centre revoked Article 370 of the constitution which rewarded special status to Jammu and Kashmir. The state was also divided into two UTs, namely J&K and Ladakh. The move upset many who later approached the Supreme Court. And on Tuesday, a Constitution bench of the top court will hear pleas challenging this decision. Here are more details.
Yesterday, another SC bench said it "didn't have time"
On Monday, a bench led by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi was supposed to hear petitions concerning restrictions imposed on media in J&K and alleged detention of minors. However, CJI Gogoi referred all the pleas to the "Kashmir bench" saying they are already occupied with daily hearings of Ayodhya dispute. "We do not have time to hear so many matters," he reportedly said.
Justice NV Ramana is heading the special bench
The bench which will now hear pleas regarding J&K is headed by Justice NV Ramana. Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul, R Subhash Reddy, BR Gavai and Surya Kant are also part of it. Pleas have been filed by Congress' Ghulam Nabi Azad, Sitaram Yechury of CPI(M), child rights activist Enakshi Ganguly, journalist Anuradha Bhasin, Doctor Sameer Kaul, and Asifa Mubeen, wife of Malaysia-based NRI businessman.
Restrictions, rights violation, and more: Pleas deal with several issues
To note, Azad's plea concerns the permission given to him by SC to visit his home state and inquire about the health of his relatives. Separately, Yechury has challenged the alleged detention of his party colleague Mohammed Yousuf Tarigami. Solicitor General Tushar Mehta wanted this petition to be junked. While Ganguly has claimed minors are being detained, Bhasin wants free movement of media.
A wife has challenged her husband's detention
Meanwhile, Asifa, wife of Mubeen Ahmad Shah, has challenged his detention. He is currently lodged at Agra Central jail and Asifa claims he is being "wrongfully deprived" of his liberty. Notably, Kaul's plea relates to the restoration of internet facilities in J&K's hospitals.
Earlier, SC quashed a plea concerning Farooq Abdullah
Not only did CJI Gogoi defer Kashmir cases by a day on Monday, but he also disposed of a plea related to the detention of National Conference stalwart Farooq Abdullah. MDMK's Vaiko had filed a habeas corpus petition, but SC said that he should approach an appropriate bench. To recall, the former Chief Minister of J&K has been detained under stringent PSA.