The Supreme Court on Monday dismissed a petition seeking a declaration that abrogation of Article 370 of the Constitution, which bestowed special status on the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir, was constitutionally valid.
Terming the plea as “misconceived”, a bench headed by Chief Justice D Y Chandrachud said the issue of constitutional validity of abrogation of Article 370 is already pending before a constitution bench of the apex court.
“What kind of a petition is this? You are now seeking a declaration by this court that the abrogation of Article 370 is valid. Why should we issue that declaration on your petition? Who has set your client up?” the bench, also comprising Justices J B Pardiwala and Manoj Misra, asked the counsel appearing for the petitioner.
The bench noted that the petitioner has filed a public interest litigation (PIL) seeking a declaration to the effect that abrogation of Article 370 (1) of the Constitution and the deletion of Article 35-A were constitutionally valid.
“A declaration cannot be issued by this court with regard to the constitutional validity of the action of the Union Government. In any event, the issue of constitutional validity is pending before the constitution bench,” it said.
“The present petition is misconceived and is accordingly dismissed,” the top court said.
Article 35-A, which was incorporated in the Constitution by a 1954 Presidential Order, accorded special rights and privileges to the citizens of Jammu and Kashmir and barred people from outside the state from acquiring any immovable property in the state.
It also denied property rights to a woman who married a person from outside the state.
On August 5, 2019, the Centre decided to strip the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir of special status and bifurcate it into two union territories.
By abrogating Article 370, the central government had revoked the special status of Jammu and Kashmir.
A five-judge constitution bench headed by the CJI is hearing arguments on a batch of petitions challenging the abrogation of the provisions of Article 370 and the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, 2019, which split the erstwhile state into two union territories – Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh.