The Supreme Court has said there are no reasons to refer a batch of pleas, challenging the constitutional validity of the Centre’s decision to abrogate provisions of Article 370 on August 5 last year, to a larger seven-judge bench.
A five-judge constitution bench headed by Justice N V Ramana pronounced the order. The bench comprising Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul, R Subhash Reddy, BR Gavai and Surya Kant, had on January 23 reserved its order on this issue.
Attorney General KK Venugopal, appearing for the Centre, had told the court that “the abrogation of provisions of Article 370, has now become a ‘fait accompli’ leaving the sole option to accept the change”.
It may be recalled that on August 5, 2019, Centre had scrapped Article 370 of the Constitution that grants special status to Jammu and Kashmir, with an order saying “it shall come into force at once”. The abrogation follows the Centre introducing the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganization Bill in Parliament. It was announced by Union Home Minister Amit Shah in parliament. Accordingly, Centre had decided to bifurcate the state into two Union Territories – Jammu and Kashmir, which will have a legislature, and Ladakh, which will be without a legislature.
Following the removals the three former chief ministers of the state – Farooq Abdullah, Omar Abdullah, Mehbooba Mufti were detained . All the three are currently under detention under the Public safety Act ( PSA).