SC To Hear Multiple Pleas On Art 370 On Wednesday

New Delhi: The Supreme Court will hear around 10 petitions related to abrogation of Article 370, granting special status to Jammu and Kashmir, on Wednesday.

Most of them challenging the Centre’s decision revoking Article 370 while others are connected with the imposition of curfew and its consequences in the region.

The pleas will be heard by a bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi.

The bench will hear Communist Party of India (Marxist) leader Sitaram Yechury’s habeas corpus petition, in which, he has challenged the detention of Kashmir politician and party general secretary Mohammed Yousuf Tarigami.

Another plea is of Tehseen Poonawalla, a social activist, who has raised the issue of lockdown in the region as amounting to suspension of Article 19 (freedom of speech) and 21 (personal liberty) of the Constitution.

The plea said, “The actions taken by Union of India pertains to gross abuse of its powers under law, whereby the people of J&K are suffering on account of unwarranted imposition of undeclared curfew and further emergency-like restrictions are being imposed under the garb of Section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973.”

Another petition filed by National Conference leader Mohammad Akbar Lone, who has cited ‘Swaraj’ or self-governance, said the right to autonomous self-government within a federal framework is an essential fundamental right. These valuable rights have been taken away without the “procedure established by law” in a manner that violates every canon of Constitutional morality.

He said Article 370 was extensively considered and carefully drafted in order to ensure peaceful and democratic accession of the formerly princely state of Jammu and Kashmir to the Indian Union, drawing out the significance of Article 370, which defines and regulates the relationship between J&K and the Union of India.

Shah Faesal, an independent politician and former bureaucrat from Jammu and Kashmir in a joint petition with activist Shehla Rashid has challenged the Centre’s move to scrap Article 370.

The bench will also hear Kashmiri artist Inder Salim alias Inder Ji Tickoo and a veteran journalist Satish Jacob’s joint plea challenging recent Presidential orders on Article 370 and bifurcation of Jammu and Kashmir into two Union Territories.

Another petition is of six retired military officers and bureaucrats who had challenged the decision to revoke Article 370.

Other petitioners include advocate M.L. Sharma, Shakir Shabir and Soyaib Qureshi. A plea of Executive Editor of Kashmir Times Anuradha Bhasin seeking direction to relax movement of media personnel as well as photojournalists for free reporting on the situation will also be heard on Wednesday.

Another plea is of a law graduate in Delhi, Mohammad Aleem Syed, seeking information on the whereabouts of his family in Kashmir.