The National Conference moves SC challenging Presidential Orders on Article 370

The National Conference mounted a legal challenge in the Supreme Court on Saturday to the changes made in the constitutional status of Jammu and Kashmir, contending that these have taken away rights of its citizens without their mandate.

Arguing that the legislation approved by Parliament and the orders issued by the President subsequently were “unconstitutional”, the petition prayed for these to be declared as “void and inoperative”.

The petition has been filed by Mohammad AKbar Lone and Justice (rtd) Hasnain Masoodi, both Lok Sabha members belonging to the NC.

Lone is a former Speaker of the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly and Masoodi is a retired judge of Jammu and Kashmir High Court who ruled in 2015 that the Article 370 was a permanent feature of the Constitution.

They have challenged the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, 2019 and the Presidential Orders that have followed.

While challenging the Centre’s decisions to scrap provisions of the Article 370 that accorded special status to Jammu and Kashmir and dividing it into two Union Territories, the two MPs have sought a direction to declare the Act and the Presidential Orders as “unconstitutional, void and inoperative”.

The petitioners said that the legislation and the Presidential Orders are “illegal and violative” of fundamental rights guaranteed under Article 14 and 21 of the Constitution to the people of Jammu and Kashmir.

The two MPs submitted that the apex court now has to examine whether the Union government can “unilaterally” unravel the unique federal scheme under the cover of President’s rule while undermining crucial elements of due process and rule of law.

“This case, therefore, goes to the heart of Indian federalism, democratic processes and the rule of apex court as the guardian of the federal structure,” the petition said.

They submitted that Article 370 was extensively considered as carefully drafted in order to ensure the peaceful and democratic accession of the former princely state of Jammu and Kashmir to the Indian Union.

The two parliamentarians from Jammu and Kashmir contended in the petition, filed through Advocate Mahesh Babu, that the Presidential Orders and the new legislation “unconstitutionally undermine the scheme of Article 370.

The first Presidential Order uses Article 370 (1)(d) — this was meant to apply other provisions of the Constitution to Jammu and Kashmir — to alter Article 370 itself and thereby the terms of federal relationship between the J-K and Union of India, they submitted.

President Ram Nath Kovind on Friday gave assent to a legislation for bifurcation of Jammu and Kashmir, and two Union Territories — Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh — will come into existence on October 31.

October 31 happens to be the birth anniversary of the country’s first home minister Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, who was instrumental in the merger of about 565 princely states into the Union of India following Independence.

The Parliament had earlier this week given its nod to the legislation for bifurcating the state, a bold and far-reaching decision that seeks to redraw the map and future of a region at the centre of a protracted militancy movement.

Delhi HC refuses to pass order agst Abdullah over PoK remarks

Delhi HC refuses to pass order agst Abdullah over PoK remarks
Delhi HC refuses to pass order agst Abdullah over PoK remarks

The Delhi High Court today refused to pass any order on a PIL seeking action against National Conference leader Farooq Abdullah over his alleged remarks on Pakistan occupied Kashmir.

A bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar directed the petitioner to approach the ministry concerned, which will decide the issue on merits.

The court was hearing a plea filed by Delhi-based Maulana Ansar Raza, who claims to be a social activist, seeking “immediate investigation” and “arrest” of the Srinagar MP alleging that he has favoured Pakistan and insulted India.

The bench disposed of Raza’s plea, saying it was not expressing any opinion on the petition and asked the Centre to take an independent view on the matter.

It also said that the petition has been filed without making any representation before the authorities concerned.

The plea had alleged that Abdullah has been making “such controversial remarks and statements by which the nation and its people feel ashamed of such persons being Indian citizens”.

Abdullah had on November 11 said that PoK belonged to Pakistan and “this won’t change” no matter how many wars India and Pakistan fight.

The petition, filed through lawyer Nawal Kishore Jha, has said the NC chief should be tried for penal offences including sedition and treason under the IPC and the National Investigation Agency (NIA) and the Intelligence Bureau be also asked to probe the entire issue.

“I tell them in plain terms — not only the people of India, but also to the world — that the part (of J&K) which is with Pakistan (PoK) belongs to Pakistan and this side to India. This won’t change. Let them fight how many wars they want to. This won’t change,” Abdullah had said.

( Source – PTI )

DGP to conduct inquiry into suicide attack on CRPF camp

State Director General of Police Ashok Prasad has been asked by the Jammu and Kashmir government to conduct a detailed inquiry into the suicide attack on a CRPF camp and killing of a youth in alleged firing by security forces.

“The DGP, who is camping in Srinagar, will be making a detailed inquiry into the happenings,” an official spokesman said after a high-level meeting chaired by Chief Minister Omar Abdullah late last night.

Five jawans of 73 battalion CRPF were killed and 10 other persons including four civilians were injured in a suicide attack by two militants on their camp in Bemina area of the city.

The two assailants were shot dead in retaliatory action by the security forces.

A man was shot dead allegedly by a unit of the 73 battalion of CRPF at Zoonimar yesterday when they were attacked with stones by some youth while returning from a hospital.

The spokesman said the state government has strongly condemned the terrorist attack at Bemina.

“The Chief Minister in the Unified headquarters meeting last evening condoled the death of CRPF jawans and conveyed the sympathies of the govt to the DGP CRPF,” he said.

The spokesman said the government has also taken note of the incident at Zoonimar in which a civilian, Altaf Ahmad Wani – who was a worker of ruling National Conference – died.

The chief minister said that violence has no place in a civilised society and advised all the agencies to exercise maximum restraint in dealing with the current situation.

Curfew has been imposed in Srinagar district as protests broke out yesterday following Wani’s death.

Ansari sworn in as 14th Vice-President

Hamid Ansari was sworn-in as the Vice-President of the country for the second consecutive term by President Pranab Mukherjee in New Delhi on Saturday.

Mr Ansari, 75, was administered the oath by the President at a grand ceremony at the Rashtrapati Bhawan.

He had defeated NDA candidate Jaswant Singh with a comfortable margin earlier this week for his re-election as Vice-President.

Mr Ansari had polled 490 first preference votes out of 728 valid votes cast in the election held on August. Jaswant Singh polled 238 votes.

Mr Ansari got more votes than he had secured in the 2007 election. He had the backing of the Congress and its allies in the UPA, including the Nationalist Congress Party, DMK and the National Conference.

After Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, Mr Ansari is the only person to have been re-elected to the office.

No communication from high court: Kashmir government

The Jammu and Kashmir government Monday denied it had received any communication from the state high court regarding the nomination of a sitting judge for a probe into the death of a ruling National Conference (NC) worker Sep 30.

Reacting to a news item carried by a section of the local press and IANS, Home Commissioner B.R. Sharma said at a media conference: “We have not received any communication from the state high court regarding its decision to nominate a sitting judge of the court for probing the circumstances those led to the death of Sayeed Muhammad Yousuf.”

The home commissioner rebutted reports that the high court had communicated to the government it could not spare a sitting judge to probe the death of the NC worker.

Earlier reports had said the high court had communicated to the state government that a sitting judge of the high court could not be spared for any inquiry as per the rulings of the Supreme Court.

source:IANS