Supreme Court declines to refer the petitions challenging government move on Article 370 to a larger bench

WION Web Team New Delhi, Delhi, India Mar 02, 2020, 10.55 AM(IST) Mar 02, 2020, 01.14 PM(IST)

File photo. Photograph:( Reuters )

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Supreme Court today refused to refer the petitions challenging the abrogation of Article 370 to a larger bench.

A five-judge Constitution bench of the Supreme Court has said that there are no reasons to refer batch of pleas challenging the validity of abrogation of provisions of Article 370 to the larger 7-judge bench.

Also read: WION Edit: Life after Article 370 - challenges ahead

Article 370 was a constitutional provision that accorded special status to the state of Jammu and Kashmir and a batch of petitions had challenged the constitutional validity it.

The Central government had said that abrogation of provisions of Article 370 has become a "fait accompli", leaving the sole option to accept the change. 

NGO People's Union of Civil Liberties (PUCL), Jammu and Kashmir High Court Bar Association and an intervenor have sought to refer the matter to a larger bench.

Last year, the Supreme Court had said that it would refer the issue to a larger 7-judge Constitution bench only if satisfied that there was a direct conflict in two earlier verdicts — Prem Nath Kaul vs J&K in 1959 and Sampat Prakash vs J&K in 1970 — of the top court which has heard the matter twice. 

The Apex court had said that it would refer the matter to a larger bench only after petitioners can point out a direct conflict between the two earlier judgments.

Several petitions had been filed in the matter including those of private individuals, lawyers, activists and political parties and they have also challenged the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, 2019, which splits J&K into two union territories — Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh. 

(With inputs from agencies)

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