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Supreme Court holds abrogation of Article 370 ‘valid’: Key takeaways

The Supreme Court supported the federal government’s plan to repeal Article 370 of the Constitution in 2019 in a major verdict issued on Monday. The five-judge panel, led by Chief Justice of India (CJI) DY Chandrachud, also instructed the Election Commission of India (ECI) to hold legislative elections by September 30, 2024, in addition to restoring statehood to the Union territory of Jammu and Kashmir.

The Supreme Court also confirmed the legality of the decision to separate Ladakh from Jammu and Kashmir on August 5, 2019.

The following are the important takeaways from the Supreme Court’s decision:

  1. CJI Chandrachud held that every decision taken by the central government on behalf of states cannot be subjected to legal challenge and may bring the state’s administration to a standstill.
  2. The court also said the President of India had the power to abrogate Article 370 without a prerequisite for a recommendation by the Jammu and Kashmir assembly.
  3. It was also ruled that the principle of consultation (with stakeholders) was not required to be followed during the exercise of presidential power.
  4. The CJI also said that Article 370 was an interim arrangement due to the war conditions in the erstwhile state.
  5. “The proclamation of Maharaja stated that the Constitution of India will supersede. With this, the para of Instrument of Accession ceases to exist…Article 370 was an interim arrangement due to war conditions in the State. Textual reading also indicates that Article 370 is a temporary provision,” the court observed.
  6. Prime Minister Modi on Monday termed the Supreme Court verdict on the abrogation of Article 370 as “historic”. Modi said the verdict is a “resounding declaration of hope, progress, unity for our sisters and brothers in J&K, Ladakh”.
  7. Members of the Gupkar alliance including PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti and NC vice-president Omar Abdullah claimed they were put in house arrest before the SC verdict was set to pronounce.
  8. However, Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha had dismissed the claims by terming them “baseless”. The Srinagar Police also clarified, “No person has been put under house arrest.”

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