9 months ago

J&K's Constitutional Autonomy Challenged in Supreme Court

Supreme Court  (symbolic picture)
Supreme Court (symbolic picture)


Srinagar (August 11,2023) : Senior Advocate Zaffar Ahmed Shah on Tuesday argued in the Supreme Court that Jammu and Kashmir had retained its constitutional autonomy under the Constitution of India itself. He contended that the abrogation of Article 370, which gave special status to the state, was unconstitutional. Shah argued that Article 370 was a "substitute for a merger agreement if complete integration (of J&K with India) had to take place". He said that the state had not signed a merger agreement with the Dominion of India like the other states, instead, it had signed the Instrument of Accession to "shake hands" with India but not "embrace it" entirely.

Shah also argued that the state had retained its constitutional autonomy under Article 370. He pointed out that Article 370(1)(i) used the term "consultation" and Article 370(1)(ii) as well as 370(1)(d) used the term "concurrence". This, he said, showed that the state had a say in the laws that were made for it. Shah's arguments are likely to be closely watched by the Supreme Court, which is hearing a batch of petitions challenging the abrogation of Article 370. The court is expected to give its verdict in the case in the coming months.

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