An organisation representing Kashmiri Pandits and a social activist on Thursday moved the Supreme Court filing intervention application in the pleas challenging the abrogation of Article 370, while supporting the August 5, 2019 decision of the Central government.
Youth 4 Panun Kashmir, through its Organising Secretary, Vithal Chowdhary and Virinder Kaul, a Kashmiri Pandit and a social activist, filed intervention application seeking to be heard in the case. The applications filed through advocate Siddharth Praveen Acharya sought dismissal of the pleas challenging Article 370 and the bifurcation of the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir into two Union territories.
The application submitted that Article 370 provided the cover for the erstwhile State government “to commit the greatest miscarriage of justice namely the genocide and ethnic cleansing of Kashmiri Pandits” and it is proof of the complete failure of the State Constitution in concert with Article 370.
The application stated, “The Applicant feels that the Article 370 was a dead letter which had to go as it was a temporary Article and by design it was anti-minorities and pro-majority of the State population and this led to the major exodus of the Kashmiri Pandit community since 1947.”
“The Applicant intends to put a very strong legal and Constitutional argument in front of the Court by solely relying on the authentic sources of the information citing the historic and Constitutional developments before the Jammu and Kashmir Constitution was enacted and how the separate Constitution of J&K and Presidential Order which incorporated Article 35A as part I of the Indian Constitution, eventually leading to systematic displacement of the Kashmiri Pandit community.”
The application sought acknowledgment of the apex court regarding the violence exercised upon the Kashmiri Pandit community between the period of 1989-1991 as a “direct or indirect consequence of unimpeded powers provided to the Jammu & Kashmir State government vide Article 370 of the Constitution”.
It further sought acknowledgment from the top court that ensures “recording of the trials and tribulations faced by the Kashmiri Pandit community in Jammu and Kashmir and the exodus
thereof as a matter of history”.
The application sought to draw attention of the Supreme Court regarding Jammu and
Kashmir State government’s and former Union government’s failure to understand and in any manner address the “plight and hardships faced by the now exiled Kashmir Pandit community,
through the implementation of Article 370 of the Constitution for the period between 1956-2019.”
The Constitution bench of the top court will start from August 2 the hearing of a batch of petitions challenging the abrogation of Article 370 and bifurcation of the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir into two Union territories.
A five-judge Constitution bench of Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud and Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul, Sanjiv Khanna, BR Gavai, and Surya Kant had said it will proceed to hear the case on a day-to-day basis except on miscellaneous days — Mondays and Fridays.
The ace team government had defended its decision to abrogate Article 370 saying since 2019, when Article 370 was abrogated, the entire region has witnessed an “unprecedented era of peace, progress and prosperity”.
Various petitions are pending before the top court challenging the validity of the law scrapping Article 370 of the Constitution and special status to Jammu and Kashmir and bifurcating the state into two Union Territories.
On August 5 2019, the Central government announced its decision to revoke the special status of Jammu and Kashmir granted under Article 370 and split the region into two Union territories.
A five-judge Constitution bench in March 2020 had declined to refer to a larger 7-judge bench a batch of petitions challenging the Constitutional validity of the Centre’s decision to abrogate provisions of Article 370 on August 5, saying there were no reasons to refer the matter to a larger bench.
A number of petitions have been filed in the top court including those of private individuals, lawyers, activists and politicians and political parties challenging the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, 2019, which splits Jammu and Kashmir into two Union Territories — Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh. (ANI)