Hearing commences in SC on batch of petitions challenging abrogation of Article 370

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Wednesday commenced hearing on a batch of petitions challenging abrogation of Article 370 of the Constitution that bestowed special status on the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir.

A five-judge constitution bench headed by Chief Justice DY Chandrachud will conduct day-to-day hearing in the matter beginning Wednesday.

Senior advocate Kapil Sibal, who will lead the arguments on behalf of petitioners challenging the abrogation, said he will continue his submissions till Thursday.

Chief Justice Chandrachud said the court will allow the lead counsel from the petitioner’s side to argue on all aspects and rest of the counsel can add on certain aspects, so that there are no overlapping arguments.

The bench, also comprising Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul, Sanjiv Khanna, BR Gavai and Surya Kant, had earlier said the hearing in the matter will be held on a day-to-day basis except on Mondays and Fridays, which are days for hearing miscellaneous matters in the apex court. Only fresh petitions are taken up on these days for admission hearing and regular matters are not heard.

The top court had earlier said the Centre’s affidavit with regard to the conditions prevailing in Jammu and Kashmir after the August 5, 2019 notification repealing Article 370 will have no bearing on the constitutional issue to be adjudicated by the five-judge bench.

On that day the Centre had stripped the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir of its special status and bifurcated it into two union territories.

Several petitions challenging abrogation of the provisions of Article 370 and the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, 2019, which split the erstwhile state into two union territories – Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh- were referred to a Constitution bench in 2019.