Referring to a clutch of petitions challenging the abrogation of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir to the constitution bench, the Supreme Court on Tuesday granted four weeks time to the Centre to file its response in the batch of petitions and one week to the petitioners to file their responses after the government's reply. The bench scheduled to hear the matter next on 14 November. The petitions include the pleas filed by Kashmir Times editor Anuradha Bhasin against the communications blockade, and by child rights activists against the "illegal" detention of children in the newly-formed Union Territory.
A bench headed by the Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi, on Monday said the bench did not have time to hear the petitions because of the daily hearings in the Ayodhya case.
A bench headed by the CJI, which on Monday dealt with other related petitions concerning the issues arising after the constitutional changes were brought in Jammu and Kashmir, said all such matters would now be adjudicated upon by a three-judge bench headed by Justice Ramana.
Several pleas have been filed in the top court challenging the Centre's 5 August decision abrogating provisions of Article 370 and bifurcating the state into Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh. The Union Territories will come into being on 31 October.
Advocate ML Sharma became the first petitioner in the case when he filed a petition in the apex court on 6 August challenging the Presidential order on Article 370.
Later, several political parties including the National Conference (NC), the Sajjad Lone-led Jammu and Kashmir Peoples Conference and CPM leader Mohammad Yousuf Tarigami filed pleas in this regard in the top court.
The petition on behalf of NC was filed by Lok Sabha MPs Mohammad Akbar Lone and Justice (retired) Hasnain Masoodi. Lone is a former speaker of the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly and Masoodi is a retired judge of the Jammu and Kashmir High Court.
In 2015, Masoodi had ruled that Article 370 was a permanent feature of the Constitution.
Other pleas include the one filed by a group of former defence officers and bureaucrats. They have also sought directions declaring the presidential orders of 5 August "unconstitutional, void and inoperative".
The plea was filed by professor Radha Kumar, a former member of the Home Ministry's Group of Interlocutors for Jammu and Kashmir (2010-11), former IAS officer of Jammu and Kashmir cadre Hindal Haidar Tyabji, Air Vice Marshal (retired) Kapil Kak, Major General (retired) Ashok Kumar Mehta, former Punjab-cadre IAS officer Amitabha Pande and former Kerala-cadre IAS officer Gopal Pillai, who retired as the Union home secretary in 2011.
A plea has also been filed by bureaucrat-turned-politician Shah Faesal, along with his party colleague and former Jawaharlal Nehru University Students' Union (JNUSU) leader Shehla Rashid.
With inputs from PTI
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Updated Date: Oct 01, 2019 12:35:39 IST