New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Wednesday reserved its judgment on a plea challenging the constitutional validity of Article 370 of the Constitution that gives special status to Jammu and Kashmir.
“File your written submissions. We will consider it and will pass an order,” a bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice Jayant Nath said. During the brief hearing, the counsel appearing for state of Jammu and Kashmir told the bench that a similar issue was raised before the Supreme Court but it had refused to intervene in it. The counsel claimed that the PIL was “nothing but a politically motivated petition”.
Countering the submissions, the lawyer appearing for petitioner Kumari Vijayalakshmi Jha argued that the issue raised by him before the high court was different from the matter which was put before the apex court. “In none of these cases (referred to by the counsel for Jammu and Kashmir) such issues were raised,” the lawyer said. The bench, after hearing the arguments, asked both the parties to file their written submissions within a week.
In the plea, the petitioner has contended that Article 370 was a temporary provision that had lapsed with dissolution of the state’s Constituent Assembly in 1957. It said the question before the court for its consideration was whether the temporary provision lapsed automatically with the dissolution of the Constituent Assembly of Jammu and Kashmir on January 26, 1957.
The petition has said that “Continuance of temporary provision of Article 370, even after dissolution of Constituent Assembly of J&K, continuance of J&K Constitution which has never got the assent/approval of President of India/Parliament/Government of India, regarding the matter like citizenship, which is in exclusive jurisdiction of Parliament, amounts fraud on the basic structure of our Constitution…(as it is) against the sovereignty, integrity, unity of the nation, sovereignty of Parliament etc.”
The Centre had earlier opposed the plea saying the issue has already been considered by the Supreme Court.
Earlier in July 2014, the Supreme Court had dismissed a plea challenging special status granted to Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370 of the Constitution and asked the petitioner to move the high court.