New Delhi: The Supreme Court Monday asked National Conference leader Mohd Akbar Lone to file an affidavit swearing allegiance to the Constitution of India and accepting the country’s sovereignty, after the ‘Pakistan zindabad’ slogan that he allegedly raised in the Jammu & Kashmir assembly in 2018 kicked up a massive row.
Lone, the lead petitioner challenging the abrogation of Article 370 that accorded special status to the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir, will file the affidavit by Tuesday, senior advocate Kapil Sibal told a five-judge bench headed by Chief Justice DY Chandrachud.
The senior lawyer said he will not represent Lone if he does not file the affidavit as sought by the bench.
“He is an MP of Lok Sabha. He is citizen of India and sworn to his office by the Constitution. He accepts the sovereignty of India,” Sibal said.
Earlier in the day, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Centre, told the bench that the central government wanted Lone to apologise for raising ‘Pakistan zindabad’ (long live Pakistan) slogan in the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly in 2018.
Lone has to state that he owes allegiance to the Constitution and apologises for raising the slogan on the floor of the House, the law officer said.
On September 1, a Kashmiri Pandit group had questioned in the top court the credentials of Lone, claiming he was a supporter of secessionist forces.
An intervention application in the apex court has been filed by an NGO ‘Roots in Kashmir’, which claims to be a group of Kashmiri Pandit youths, seeking to bring some additional documents and facts on record in the matter. It alleged that Lone is known as “a supporter of secessionist forces operating in J-K, who support Pakistan.”