No need to refer Article 370 petitions to larger bench: SC

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Monday refused to refer petitions challenging the scrapping of Article 370 to a larger bench. The current 5-judge Supreme Court constitution bench, headed by Justice NV Ramana, will continue to hear the cases related to Article 370.
The People’s Union of Civil Liberties (PUCL) and the Jammu and Kashmir High Court Bar Association had sought referring the matter to a larger 7-judge bench.
The petitioners sought reference to a larger bench on the ground that two judgments of the Supreme Court — Prem Nath Kaul versus Jammu and Kashmir in 1959 and Sampat Prakash versus Jammu and Kashmir in 1970 — which dealt with the issue of Article 370 were in direct conflict each other and, therefore, the current bench of five judges could not hear the issue.
Attorney General KK Venugopal, appearing for the Government of India, had told the Supreme Court bench — also comprising Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul, R Subhash Reddy, BR Gavai and Surya Kant — that “the abrogation of provisions of Article 370 has now become a ‘fait accompli’”.
Referring to the two earlier Supreme Court judgments cited by the petitioners, Venugopal said that they were not related to each other and dealt with different issues.

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