Supreme Court reserves verdict on petitions challenging the Abrogation of Article 370 after 16-day rigorous hearing

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Today, the Consitution bench of the Supreme Court reserved its long-pending verdict on a batch of petitions challenging the abrogation of Article 370 of the Constitution of India. The five-judge Constitution bench including Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud, Justice Surya Kant, Justice BR Gavai, Justice Sanjiv Khanna, and Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul heard the matter today for the 16th time. The hearing for the same commenced on August 02, 2023. Throughout the court proceedings in these 16 days, extensive arguments and discussions were made regarding the 2019 decision of the Central government to abrogate Article 370 which resulted in the revocation of special status given to Jammu and Kashmir

During the Court proceedings today, the hearing initiated with the submission of another affidavit by respondent lawyers in the Akbar Lone case which shows ‘more damaging statements have been made’. Further, the bench asked Senior Advocate Kapil Sibal regarding the Lone’s affidavit whereas Kapil Sibal replied that “he is reaching by 12 PM.” In addition to this, SA Sibal contended that “A unilateral executive decision cannot change the terms of a relationship constitutionality embedded in Article 370. An executive act of the Union of India cannot unilaterally after provisions of the Constitution of India as applicable to the State of J&K. Ultimately, this was a political decision taken in the context of the situation prevailing. Right? And the complete abrogation must also be a political decision. It’s a fraud of the Constitution.” 

While reading the affidavit stating that “I stick to the oath taken while being sworn in as Member of Parliament” submitted by SA Sibal on behalf of Mr. Lone, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta said, “This is adding insult to injury”. CJI responded, “We will analyze it.” and reserved the judgment. 

In this case, Senior Advocate Kapil Sibal, SA Zaffar Shah, SA Gopal Subramanium, SA Rajeev Dhavan, SA Chander Uday Singh, SA Dushyant Dave, SA Dinesh Dwivedi, SA Shekhar Naphade, SA Gopal Sankaranarayanan, SA Prashanto Chandra Sen, SA Sanjay Parikh, SA Nitya Ramakrishnan, SA Menaka Guruswamy, and Advocate Warisha Farasat appeared for the petitioners. Attorney General for India R Venkataramani, Solicitor General of India Tushar Mehta, Additional Solicitor General KM Nataraj, ASG Vikramjeet Banerjee, and Advocate Kanu Agarwal appeared for the Union of India. Senior Advocate Harish Salve, SA Rakesh Dwivedi, SA V Giri, SA Guru Krishnakumar, Advocate Archana Pathak Dave, Advocate VK Biju, and Advocate Charu Mathur appeared for the intervenors backing the Union.

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