August 5, 2019 and This Day Will Go Down in History as One That Corrected Himalayan Constitutional Blunder: SG Tushar Mehta After SC Verdict on Article 370

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, the Centre’s key counsel in defending the abrogation of Article 370 of the Constitution, said on Monday the Supreme Court verdict upholding the government’s August 5, 2019 decision will go down in history as the one that corrected a “Himalayan constitutional blunder” of gigantic proportions.

As the only lawyer involved in the process of abrogation of Article 370 before August 5, 2019 and having led the arguments before the constitution bench of the Supreme Court, it is a historic day for him too, Mehta said.

“August 5, 2019 and today’s date will go down in the history of India, when a Himalayan constitutional blunder of the past with gigantic proportion was ultimately corrected by the government.

“It is only the iron will of our Prime Minister Narendra Modiji and the resolute decisiveness and brilliant strategy of our Home Minister Amit Shahji that made this historic decision possible. The nation will forever remain indebted to them,” he said.

Mehta said he had the good fortune of witnessing and being a part of the entire process that exhibited their exemplary resolve, coupled with the minute coordination of the smallest details and flawless and scientific stewardship of the parliamentary process and floor management inside the House.

“The judicial adjudication by the Supreme Court is also equally historic and rare. A five-judge Constitution bench decided the matter that consisted of all five seniormost judges — Justice D Y Chandrachud, Chief Justice of India, Justice S K Kaul, Justice Sanjiv Khanna, Justice Bhushan R Gavai and Justice Surya Kant — a historic bench presided by the Chief Justice of India and also comprising three future chief justices of India. All five are legendary judges who are undisputably intellectual giants,” he said in a statement.

The top law officer of the country said a very patient hearing was given by the bench to all sides for more than three weeks.

“And today comes a judgment which will go down in the history of this great country exhibiting astounding scholarship, concern for rule of law and a visible concern for the fundamental rights of equality of every resident of Jammu and Kashmir irrespective of religion, sex, caste or creed,” he said.

Mehta added that the highest court of the country has stood by the constitutional values and secured to all the residents of Jammu and Kashmir their legitimate rights that they were deprived of since independence, while taking care of democratic elections also.

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“Having extensively read the history behind the insertion of Article 370 into our Constitution, I can confidently say that the soul of Sardar (Vallabhbhai) Patel will be fully contended today as the provision which he could not prevent from being inserted into the Constitution of India has finally gone. He must be showering his blessings upon Narendra Modiji and Amit Shahji,” Mehta said.

The judgment upholds the abrogation of Article 370 and thereby, approves the correction of a historic blunder of the Jawaharlal Nehru-led Congress in 1947 to appoint Mountbatten as the governor general and chairman of the Defence Committee, and referring the dispute to the United Nations, he said.

Senior Advocate Rakesh Dwivedi, who represented one of the litigants supporting the abrogation of Article 370, said the article was a sequence of that blunder.

“It required the political will of the Modi government and Home Minister Amit Shah to undo Article 370,” he added.

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