Srinagar: Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti has welcomed the Supreme Court’s observation that Article 370 of the Indian Constitution, which gives a special status to the state, is not a temporary provision.
The apex court’s observation regarding Article 370 permanent status is a welcome assurance for the people of the state and the decision has come at a time when the state of Jammu and Kashmir especially Kashmir Valley, is headed for yet another spell of turmoil as the killings in the southern districts have given rise to apprehensions that things may take a turn for the worse.
Article 370 not only safeguards the territorial integrity of Jammu and Kashmir, but also plays a bigger role in preserving the religious, cultural and linguistic integrity of the state.
Notably, the apex court had on Tuesday said that Article 370 of the Constitution which gives special status to Jammu and Kashmir is not a temporary provision. The apex court said that in its earlier verdict of 2017 in the SARFESI case, it has been already held that Article 370 was not a temporary provision.
The top court said this during a hearing of an appeal filed by petitioner Kumari Vijayalakshmi Jha, against the Delhi high court’s April 11, 2017 order dismissing the plea seeking a declaration that Article 370 is temporary in nature.
The petitioner had claimed before the high court that Article 370 was a temporary provision that had lapsed with the dissolution of the Constituent Assembly in 1957.
The petition had said that the continuance of the temporary provision of Article 370 even after dissolution of Constituent Assembly of J&K, and that of J&K Constitution which has never got the assent of the President of India or Parliament or the government of India, amounts to fraud on the basic structure of our Constitution.
The decision of the SC has brought several facts to the fore once again. The issue of diluting the special status of the state is quite sensitive and various rightwing bodies have been trying to use judiciary to fan their interests and fiddle with the special status of the state of Jammu and Kashmir.
The issue is so critical and crucial for the state of Jammu and Kashmir that any negative verdict can spell dome for the state as the entire state could have turned up against such a verdict and the issue could turn into a spiral of unending protests and even violence.
Now that the SC has put all speculations to rest, the government both at the state as well as the federal level need to take a stand on the issue. The government taking a stand on this issue is important owing to the fact that various groups and power centers in our state are keeping a watch on such developments as they wish to exploit such situations to fan their interests.