SC upholds abrogation of Article 370, calls for polls by September next year

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday upheld the government’s decision to abrogate Article 370, which bestowed special status on the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir, and said steps should be taken to conduct elections in the assembly by September 30 next year.

Writing the judgement for himself and Justices Gavai and Surya Kant, Chief Justice of India D Y Chandrachud said Article 370 of the Constitution was a temporary provision and the president has the power to revoke it.

The apex court also upheld the validity of the decision to carve out the union territory of Ladakh from Jammu and Kashmir in August 2019.

The erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir does not have internal sovereignty different from other states of the country, he said.

“… all provisions of the Indian Constitution can be applied to J-K,” the CJI said.

“We hold the exercise of presidential power to issue constitutional order abrogating Article 370 of Constitution as valid,” the CJI said.

Jammu and Kashmir became an integral part of India and this is evident from Articles 1 and 370, he said while pronouncing the judgment.

“The Constituent Assembly of J&K was never intended to be permanent body,” the CJI stated.

Article 370, which was abrogated on August 5, 2019, was an interim arrangement due to war conditions in the erstwhile state, Justice Chandrachud said.

The princely state had become an integral part of India and this is evident from Articles 1 and 370, the CJI said.

The bench comprising CJI D Y Chandrachud and Justices Gavai, Surya Kant, Sanjay Kishan Kaul, Sanjiv Khanna, assembled at 10.56 am to pronounce the three separate and concurring judgements Justices Kaul and Khanna wrote their judgments separately.

The apex court reserved its verdict in the matter on September 5 after a 16-day hearing on a batch of petitions challenging the abrogation of the provisions of Article 370.

The pronouncement of the verdict by the CJI is underway.