SC notice to govt on plea by former army Major, others challenging J&K constitution
Srinagar: The Supreme Court on Tuesday issued notice to government of India and J&K government on a petition against constitution of J&K.
The petition has been filed by Ramesh Upadhyay, a former Major in the Indian Army, who was charged by Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) of Maharashtra for involvement in the 2008 Malegaon blasts that had left six dead and 100 wounded.
Upadhyay and four others— Anupam Mishra (Of Allahabad, UP), Bani Chakraborty (Kolkata, West Bengal), Biswarup Basu (Barsaat Kolkata) and Awadhesh Rai (Allahabad)— petitioned the Supreme Court of India to challenge the validity of the J&K Constitution.
A bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and K M Joseph also ordered tagging of the petition with other similar pleas related to validity of Article 35A of the Constitution, which granted special status to residents of Jammu and Kashmir.
The petitioners, represented by advocate Vishnu Shankar Jain, challenged the provisions of ‘The
Constitution (Application to Jammu and Kashmir) Order 1954’ issued by the President of India,
claiming it infringed the fundamental and civil rights of the citizens of India.
They sought a declaration that the Constituent Assembly, which enacted the Constitution of Jammu
and Kashmir, 1957 was not legally constituted and as such the said Constitution is void.
Among others, they also sought a declaration that the Parliament has absolute powers to amend,
rescind or repeal Article 370 of the Constitution in exercise of the powers under Article 368.
“The petitioners want to do something for the state of Jammu and Kashmir and to work for the
progress of the state. For this purpose they want to purchase property in the state for frequent visits
and smooth working but their right to purchase property has been taken away,” they contended.
They pointed out under the Indian Independence Act, 1947, there was no provision for conditional
accession. In fact, it conferred on the rulers of the Indian states absolute power in their discretion to
accede to either of the two dominions – India or Pakistan. Therefore, any condition in the instrument
of accession contravened the Indian Independence Act,1947 and such condition would have no
impact in subsequent relations and administration of those territories
by INS Desk