India’s SC issues notice to govt on petitions regarding revocation of Article 370


International desk, August 28: Indian Supreme Court (SC) on Wednesday issued a notice to the federal government on all petitions challenging the revocation of Article 370, reported India Today.The bench, headed by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi, was hearing a petition by ML Sharma on Article 370 abrogation, which argues that it is an issue of constitutional importance.

The court said that a five-judge constitution bench will take up the 14 petitions being heard today — which relate to Article 370 and the subsequent lockdown in the region — in the first week of October.

“If notice is issued, it will have cross-border repercussions. It will be misused,” the Solicitor General was quoted as saying.

While hearing a petition by Kashmir Times Executive Editor Anuradha Bhasin, which demands an end to communications restrictions in occupied Jammu and Kashmir, the top court issued another notice to the government and asked for a detailed response within a week, ANI reported.

“It’s the 24th day of [the] blackout. Even a doctor speaking to the media was whisked away,” said Vrinda Grover, arguing on behalf of the petitioner, according to India Today.

The bench, on another petition, refused a request from the federal government to appoint an interlocutor for Jammu & Kashmir.

Hindustan Times reported that the court allowed Communist Party of India (Marxist) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury and a Kashmiri student who wanted to meet his parents to visit occupied Kashmir, and asked both to file a report when they return.

On August 5, the government of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi stripped Kashmiris of the constitutional rights they had for seven decades through a rushed presidential order. An indefinite curfew was imposed in occupied Kashmir and elected leaders were put under house arrest. The clampdown has now entered its 24th day.

By repealing Article 370 of the constitution, people from the rest of India will now have the right to acquire property in Kashmir and settle there permanently. Kashmiris, as well as critics of India’s Hindu nationalist-led government, see the move as an attempt to dilute the demographics of Muslim-majority occupied Kashmir with Hindu settlers.