Seek early hearing of petitions challenging abrogation of Article 370 in J&K: Petitioner

NEW DELHI — Muzzafar Iqbal Khan, a petitioner on Saturday approached the Supreme Court urging for an early hearing of the petitions challenging the abrogation of Article 370 and bifurcation of the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir into two Union territories.

Khan in his petition had challenged the abrogation and the Jammu and Kashmir (Reorganisation) Act, 2019 (The Reorganisation Act) as being unconstitutional and sought early hearing of the case saying sweeping changes are being brought about by the Centre that impacts the rights of a large number of people.

The plea sought direction to the Centre to refrain from taking any further steps pursuant to the actions impugned in the petitions, including delimitation in accordance with the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganization Act, 2019, till the pending petitions are heard and decided by the Court.

He said despite the fact that the petition is pending before the Supreme Court since 2019, the Central Government has taken some irreversible actions.

Khan said the Centre has constituted a delimitation commission to mark boundaries in the territory for all the constituencies before an assembly election can be held.

A five-judge 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.

Earlier, Senior CPI(M) leader MY Tarigami had also urged the Supreme Court to list these cases urgently for hearing.

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 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)