New Delhi: A plea has been moved in the Supreme Court seeking early hearing of petitions challenging the Centre’s decision to revoke the provisions of the Constitution’s Article 370, granting special status to Jammu and Kashmir, last year.
The application moved by Shakir Shabir, one of the petitioners in the matter, argued that against the backdrop of repeated internet shutdowns, along with other restrictions are damaging the economy, which is impacting the people of erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir.
“The purported intent of the impugned order has continually been portrayed to have been for the betterment of the populace of the erstwhile State of Jammu & Kashmir… the truth remains that it is the very people who are presently suffering in the midst,” it said.
Shabir sought early listing of the petitions against the Centre’s decision before a Constitution bench for further hearing.
In March, before it directed restricted functioning through video conferencing amid the Covid-19 pandemic, the top court had said the schedule of hearing on these petitions would depend on the hearing by a 9-judge bench in the Sabarimala case, which was expected to start after the Holi break.
But, after the announcement of the lockdown, the top court decided to take up only urgent matter virtually.
The application has claimed the continuous enactments by Jammu and Kashmir administration and the Centre gives permanency to the decision to revoke Article 370, which has been challenged before the top court.
“After passage of more than one year, all such actions that are being taken by the respondents shall also be rendered illegal and void should this Court, after consideration of the petitions so filed, deem the initial impugned order to be unconstitutional and void,” it said.
The top court in November 2019 had declined to pass any interim order on the petitions challenging the Centre’s decision.
In March, the apex court had refused to refer the matter to a 7-judge bench.
A large number of petitions have been filed by political parties, private individuals, lawyers, activists etc., challenging the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, 2019, which downgraded and split Jammu and Kashmir into two Union Territories – Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh.