Hearing will be held after Dussehra holiday, Supreme Court said on Article 370

The Supreme Court on Friday said it will hear petitions challenging the changes made in Article 370 of the Constitution after the Dussehra holiday. The matter was mentioned before a three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice of India U U Lalit. After which the bench said that it will hear the petitions challenging the amendment of Article 370 to abolish the provision of special status to Jammu and Kashmir after the Dussehra holidays.

“We will definitely list it,” the chief justice said. The CJI told the counsel that this is an important constitutional matter and is pending for a long time. The bench said it would be considered when the court reopens after the Dussehra holiday. The apex court will remain on Dussehra holiday from October 3 to October 10.

The petitions challenging the August 2019 decision of the central government were last heard in the Supreme Court on March 2, 2020. However, then a five-judge bench headed by Justice NV Ramana rejected the prayer for referring the petitions to a larger bench.

On Friday, a bench headed by Justice UU Lalit agreed to consider the petitions challenging the validity of the central government’s decision on ‘Special Mention’ of senior advocate PC Sen. The bench allowed Sen’s plea for an early hearing and said the matter would be listed after the Dussehra holidays.

Senior advocate Sen, on behalf of a group of former bureaucrats – Radha Kumar, GK Palli and others – had requested an early hearing in the matter. These petitioners had jointly challenged the validity of the 5 August 2019 decision of the Central Government. The five-judge Constitution Bench of the apex court had said in March 2020 that there was no need to refer the petitions challenging the Article 370 judgment to a seven-judge Constitution Bench, which has not listed the matter for hearing since then.

Due to the retirement of two members, including Justice NV Ramana, of the bench, which heard in March 2020, now a five-judge constitution bench has to be constituted again to consider the matter. The Center revoked the special status of the state of Jammu and Kashmir by amending the provisions of Article 370. After this the state was divided into two union territories of Ladakh and Jammu and Kashmir.

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