SC rejects batch of pleas seeking review of Article 370 verdict

The review petition was heard by the same judges who had earlier delivered the verdict in the case.
A five-judge bench of the top court, led by CJI DY Chandrachud, passed the judgement (Photo | PTI)
A five-judge bench of the top court, led by CJI DY Chandrachud, passed the judgement (Photo | PTI)

The Supreme Court has rejected the batch of petitions seeking a review of the Article 370 case verdict. A five-judge bench of the top court, led by CJI DY Chandrachud, passed the judgement on May 1. It was uploaded on Tuesday on the SC website.

The four other judges on the bench were Justices Sanjiv Khanna, B R Gavai, Surya Kant and A S Bopanna (now retired).

The review petition was heard by the same judges who had earlier delivered the verdict in the case. It was heard in a chamber where no lawyer, aggrieved party, petitioner or respondent was present during the hearing.

The top court delivered the verdict on a batch of review petitions including that of a researcher and IT professional Pankaj Kumudchandra Phadnis and four from Jammu and Kashmir challenging its December 11 judgment upholding the Centre's August 5, 2019 decision to scrap special status under Article 370 to J&K and bifurcate the state into two UTs - J&K and Ladakh.

More than 20 review petitions were filed before the apex court in the case. The four from Jammu and Kashmir include that of a retired trial court judge Muzzafar Iqbal Khan.

The review petition filed by Phadnis, also the president of the Abhinav Bharat Congress, a public policy think tank, sought a modification of its order that Article 370 may be kept in abeyance until such time as the Parliament may be able to ascertain the views of the people of Jammu and Kashmir on the extent of Constitutional autonomy they need and deserve and the views of the people of India.

Similarly, the review petition of Khan said that all the principles and parameters of the SC judgment were erroneous and therefore the same may kindly be set right in the interest of justice after giving the petitioner a hearing.

Another review plea has been filed by the Awami National Conference. Both parties were among the petitioners in the Article 370 case.

The apex court in its verdict had held that there are restrictions on powers to be exercised after imposition of President's Rule under Article 356.

The top court said that it's not relevant to hold whether the proclamation to abrogate Article 370 was valid or not.

The judgement also stated that every decision taken by the Centre on behalf of a state under proclamation can't be subject to a legal challenge, adding that it would lead to chaos.

While rejecting the petitioners arguments, the apex court said that the Centre can exercise the power of a state government under President's Rule. Parliament/President can exercise legislative powers of a state under proclamation of emergency.

The apex court in its verdict said that Article 370 was an interim arrangement due to war conditions in the state. It was a temporary and transitory provision, the court added.

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