SC to conduct day-to-day hearing from August 2 on pleas challenging abrogation of Article 370

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Tuesday said it will commence day-to-day hearing from August 2 on a batch of petitions challenging abrogation of Article 370 of the Constitution that bestowed special status on the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir. A five-judge Constitution bench headed by Chief Justice DY Chandrachud, which passed several procedural directions, fixed July 27 as deadline for filing of written submissions and convenience compilations by different parties.

The bench also comprising Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul, Sanjiv Khanna, BR Gavai and Surya Kant said hearing on the batch of petitions will be held on a day-to-day basis except on Mondays and Fridays, which are days for hearing miscellaneous matters in the apex court. It appointed two lawyers — one from the petitioner’s side and the government side — to prepare convenience compilation and file it before July 27 and made it clear that after the said date no documents will be accepted.

The five-judge bench said that Centre’s affidavit filed on Monday with regard to conditions prevailing post August 5, 2019 notification in the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir have no bearing on the constitutional issue to be adjudicated by the five-judge Constitution bench. Senior advocate Raju Ramachandran, who is leading the petitioners challenging the constitutional validity of abrogation of Article 370, said two petitioners — IAS officer Shah Faesal and Shehla Rashid Shora — have filed an application for withdrawal of their names from the list of petitioners.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Centre, said he has no difficulty if anyone wishes to withdraw his or her name from the list of petitioners. The bench then allowed Shah and activist Shora to delete their names from the list of the petitioners. On August 5, 2019, the Centre decided to strip the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir of special status and bifurcate it into two union territories.

Several petitions challenging the Centre’s decision to abrogate the provisions of Article 370 and the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, 2019, which split J-K into two union territories – Jammu and Kashmir, and and Ladakh were referred to a Constitution bench in 2019. By abrogating Article 370, the Central government had revoked the special status of Jammu and Kashmir. PTI MNL ABA.

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