In a unanimous decision, the Supreme Court of India upheld the abrogation of Article 370 of the Constitution, which granted special privileges to Jammu and Kashmir.
The Constitution Bench headed by Chief Justice of India (CJI) D.Y. Chandrachud said that Article 370 is a temporary provision on a reading of the historical context in which it was included.
“Article 370 was an interim arrangement due to war conditions in the state,” the bench said. “Textual reading also indicates that [Article 370] is a temporary provision. Marginal note says it is temporary and transitory.”
The top court held that the State of Jammu and Kashmir had no internal sovereignty and the concurrence of the State Government was not required to apply the Indian Constitution to the State of Jammu and Kashmir.
Given the submission of the Solicitor General that the Union will restore the statehood of J&K as soon as possible, the apex court did not adjudicate upon the validity of the reorganization of Jammu and Kashmir into Union Territory (UT). However, the carving out of Ladakh as UT was upheld.
The Supreme Court ordered the Union government to restore the statehood of Jammu and Kashmir.
The Supreme Court also issued a direction to the Election Commission of India to take steps to hold elections to the J&K Legislative Assembly by September 30, 2024.
The court refused to rule on the validity of the president’s rule imposed in Jammu and Kashmir in December 2018 as it had not been specifically challenged by the petitioners, Live Law reported.
According to Live Law, There were three judgements in the matter- one by CJI DY Chandrachud for himself and for Justices Gavai and Surya Kant. The second was a concurring opinion authored by Justice SK Kaul. Justice Sanjiv Khanna concurred with both the judgements.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi hailed the court’s ruling. “The Court, in its profound wisdom, has fortified the very essence of unity that we, as Indians, hold dear and cherish above all else,” he said.
A Constitution bench headed by Chief Justice DY Chandrachud and comprising Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul, Sanjiv Khanna, BR Gavai and Surya Kant had reserved its verdict on September 5 after hearing more than 20 petitions challenging the Union government’s decisions to revoke Jammu and Kashmir’s special status and split the erstwhile state into two Union territories in 2019.