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‘J-K Assembly creature of its Constitution and not Constitution of India’

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jammu and kashmir assembly

New Delhi, Jan 21 : The Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Assembly is a creature of the Constitution of the erstwhile state, and not the Constitution of India, submitted senior journalist Prem Shankar Jha’s counsel, challenging the scrapping of Article 370, before the Supreme Court on Tuesday.

Senior advocate Dinesh Dwivedi, representing Jha, told a five-judge Constitution Bench headed by Justice N.V. Ramana, that: “Legislative Assembly is one which is a creature of the Constitution of J&K and not the Constitution of India where Governor cannot be a substitute.”

He insisted that Constituent Assembly was independent of the Constitution.

“The Legislative Assembly cannot be a substitute or the successor of even the Constituent Assembly of Jammu and Kashmir,” Dwivedi.

To bolster his argument, he said that the Legislative Assembly is the creature of the Constituent Assembly of Jammu and Kashmir, which was a plenary sovereign authority unlike the Legislative Assembly.

He also added that J&K Constituent Assembly was dissolved in 1957 after the formulation of the J&K Constitution, and as a consequence, Article 370 was apparently frozen.

Dwivedi also argued that the presidential orders issued on August 5-6 are per se illegal in as much as the Constitution of Jammu and Kashmir being outside the Constitution of India. “And Article 370, it can only be repealed, ceased or suspended in the manner prescribed by the supervising law of J&K only and not otherwise. What cannot be done directly, cannot be done indirectly also,” he argued.

He insisted that these presidential orders, as they intend to apply all provisions of the Constitution of India are null and void, since they have the effect of repealing the Constitution of J&K and replacing it with “Constitution of India by an executive order”.

He emphasised that Constitutions are real codes of governance for an undefined period, and they can only be modified or amended in exercise of the self-confined amendatory powers.

Dwivedi said that Article 370 was apparently a tunnel connecting the two Constitutions, and insisted that its sole object was to ensure that people of the region have a say in their governance through their own Constitution. The senior advocate argued that Parliament could exercise few powers on the erstwhile state – alter its boundary and change the name, but cannot convert it into a Union Territory.

He also urged the court to refer the matter to a larger bench against the backdrop of two conflicting decisions – 1959 and 1970 – by a five-judge bench of the apex court on the subject. While the former recognized the temporary nature of Article 370, the latter recognises its permanence by giving the source of power to the Union, and also allows it to regulate the governing relationship between the Centre and state.

The arguments on the matter will continue on Wednesday.

(Sumit Saxena can be contacted at [email protected])

Election

Reply to plea challenging your election, Delhi HC tells Sisodia

Elections to the Delhi Assembly were held on February 8 and the results declared on February 11.

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Manish Sisodia

New Delhi, Feb 28 : The Delhi High Court on Friday directed Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia and others to reply to a petition that sought the declaration of his election as an MLA from Patparganj null and void.

Petitioner BJP leader Ravinder Singh Negi sought quashing of Sisodia’s election on the ground of deliberate concealment of a criminal case in his poll affidavit.

Issuing direction for replies to Sisodia, Media Certification and Monitoring Committee and the Returning Officer, Justice VK Rao listed the matter for hearing on May 19.

“There is a deliberate concealment and non-disclosure of pendency of a criminal case in his affidavit filed before the election officer,” the plea claimed.

The petitioner also sought a court order to declare him elected instead of Sisodia, a senior Aam Aadmi Party leader.

The petitioner claimed that the Returning Officer had helped Sisodia and refused to cancel his nomination. Negi alleged that Sisodia also violated poll campaign rules.

Elections to the Delhi Assembly were held on February 8 and the results declared on February 11.

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Cities

Congress delegation to visit violence-hit Delhi areas

As per figures available till February 28, a total of 39 persons were killed, of which 13 had gunshot wounds. As many as 22 died of severe injuries suffered during rioting.

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delhi violence Shiv Vihar

New Delhi, Feb 28 : A five-member Congress delegation will visit the violence-hit areas in northeast Delhi to take stock of the situation, the party said on Friday.

The delegation deputed by Congress interim President Sonia Gandhi comprises Mukul Wasnik, Shakti Singh Gohil, Tariq Anwar, Kumari Selja, and Sushmita Dev.

“The Congress chief has asked these leaders to assess the situation emanating from mindless violence in riot-affected areas and its after-effects and submit a detailed report to her immediately,” the release issued by Congress leader KC Venugopal said.

As per figures available till February 28, a total of 39 persons were killed, of which 13 had gunshot wounds. As many as 22 died of severe injuries suffered during rioting.

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Politics

AAP suspends councillor Tahir Hussain till probe is done

The Delhi Police registered a murder case against Hussain in the killing of IB staffer Ankit Sharma, on the basis of a complaint given by Sharma’s father.

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Tahir Hussain

New Delhi, Feb 28 : Delhi’s ruling AAP on Thursday announced it had suspended its Municipal Councillor Tahir Hussain, who has been accused of involvement in the northeast Delhi violence and also been booked in the murder case of an Intelligence Bureau staffer.

“Tahir Hussain has been suspended from the Aam Aadmi Party for the duration of the probe against him in connection with the Delhi violence,” the Aam Aadmi Party said in a tweet.

Earlier on Thursday, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, asked about charges of involvement in violence and arson in northeast Delhi against the AAP councillor, had said: “Any person found guilty should be given strict punishment. If any Aam Aadmi Party member is found guilty, he or she should be given double the punishment.”

The Delhi Police registered a murder case against Hussain in the killing of IB staffer Ankit Sharma, on the basis of a complaint given by Sharma’s father.

Sharma’s body was recovered on Wednesday from a sewer in Jafarabad and the autopsy report on Thursday said that he was brutally stabbed to death. His family has alleged Hussain’s supporters brutally assaulted Sharma and killed him.

People in the neighbourhood have alleged that the AAP leader played an active role in the riots that engulfed the area since Sunday.

Also the house of Hussain, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) municipal councillor from Nehru Vihar, in Chand Bagh still has a number of petrol bomb bottles, acid pouches, and stones scattered on the rooftop and inside.

Hussain’s house has come under the scanner after a number of videos on social media showed over 100 to 150 people pelting stones, throwing petrol bombs and acid on Monday and Tuesday afternoon.

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