In a significant ruling, the Supreme Court reaffirms the government’s move to revoke Article 370, stressing the need for Jammu and Kashmir elections by September 30. Chief Justice Chandrachud declares the article as a temporary provision.
In a landmark verdict, the Supreme Court on Monday upheld the government’s decision to revoke Article 370, the constitutional provision granting special status to Jammu and Kashmir. Chief Justice Chandrachud emphasized the temporary nature of Article 370 and directed steps for conducting elections in the region by September 30. The ruling also validated the creation of Ladakh as a union territory and called for the swift restoration of statehood to Jammu and Kashmir.
The Apex court also directed that statehood to the union territory of Jammu and Kashmir be restored as soon as possible.
Writing the judgement for himself and Justices Gavai and Surya Kant, Chief Justice of India D Y Chandrachud, said Article 370 of the Constitution was a temporary provision, and the president has the power to revoke it.
The apex court also upheld the validity of the decision to carve out the union territory of Ladakh from Jammu and Kashmir on August 5, 2019. On that day, the government abrogated Article 370 and bifurcated the state into two union territories — Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh.
The erstwhile state does not have internal sovereignty different from other states of the country, the CJI said.“… all provisions of the Indian Constitution can be applied to J-K,” the CJI said.
“We hold the exercise of presidential power to issue constitutional order abrogating Article 370 of Constitution as valid,” the CJI said.
Jammu and Kashmir became an integral part of India and this is evident from Articles 1 and 370, he said while pronouncing the judgment.
“The Constituent Assembly of J&K was never intended to be permanent body,” the CJI stated.
Article 370, Justice Chandrachud said, was an interim arrangement due to war conditions in the erstwhile state.
The princely state had become an integral part of India, which is evident from Articles 1 and 370, the CJI said.
The bench comprising CJI D Y Chandrachud and Justices Gavai, Surya Kant, Sanjay Kishan Kaul, Sanjiv Khanna assembled at 10.56 am to pronounce the three separate and concurring judgements Justices Kaul and Khanna wrote their judgments separately.
In his concurring judgment, Justice Khanna said the purpose of Article 370 was to slowly bring Jammu and Kashmir at par with other Indian states. He directed the setting up of a truth-and-reconciliation commission to probe human rights violations by the state and non-state actors.
The apex court reserved its verdict in the matter on September 5 after a 16-day hearing on a batch of petitions challenging the abrogation of the provisions of Article 370.
SC on Assembly Elections in J&K
Supreme Court directed Election Commission of India (ECI) to hold assembly elections in the Union Territory of J&K by September 30, 2024.
While pronouncing the verdict on Article 370 which was heard by five-member bench headed by Justice DY Chandrachud, the Supreme Court directed Election Commission of India to take necessary steps for holding assembly elections in J&K and ensure its conduct by September 30, 2024.
Notably the Constituent Assembly of J&K is under suspension since 2018 after BJP withdrew its support from its coalition partner PDP.
Reactions on Supreme Court’s Article 370 verdict
Resounding declaration of hope, progress, unity: PM Modi
Prime Minister Narendra Modi praised the Supreme Court’s decision on Article 370, saying it supports what the Indian Parliament decided on August 5, 2019, bringing hope, progress, and unity to Jammu, Kashmir, and Ladakh.
He said that the Court, understanding things deeply, made our unity stronger. He assured the strong people of Jammu, Kashmir, and Ladakh that their dreams remain a top priority.
“Today’s Supreme Court verdict on the abrogation of Article 370 is historic and constitutionally upholds the decision taken by the Parliament of India on 5th August 2019; it is a resounding declaration of hope, progress and unity for our sisters and brothers in Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh,” he said on a post on X.
“The Court, in its profound wisdom, has fortified the very essence of unity that we, as Indians, hold dear and cherish above all else,” the PM said.
“I want to assure the resilient people of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh that our commitment to fulfilling your dreams remains unwavering. We are determined to ensure that the fruits of progress not only reach you but also extend their benefits to the most vulnerable and marginalised sections of our society who suffered due to Article 370,” he added.
“The verdict today is not just a legal judgment; it is a beacon of hope, a promise of a brighter future and a testament to our collective resolve to build a stronger, more united India,” he added.
Article 370 in J-K gave rise to separatism, promoted terrorism: Amit Shah
Hours after the Supreme Court upheld the abrogation of Article 370, Union Home Minister Amit Shah Monday said it (Article) was a catalyst for separatism, that further promoted terrorism in the region.
Speaking in the Rajya Sabha after the discussion on the Jammu-Kashmir Reservation (Amendment) Bill, 2023, and Jammu-Kashmir Reorganisation (Amendment) Bill, 2023, Shah said, “Article 370 in J-K gave rise to separatism which in turn promoted terrorism.”
Amit Shah in his address asserted that the Supreme Court’s verdict on Jammu and Kashmir marks a significant defeat for opposition parties, underscoring the legal and constitutional validity of the government’s actions in the region. Earlier today, the apex court upheld the Centre’s 2019 move to revoke the special status conferred to the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir. The court held the Constitutional order that revoked Article 370 as valid.
The SC decision on article 370 has deeply saddened the people of J&K: Apni Party
Apni Party stated that the Supreme Court’s verdict upholding the Union Government’s August 5, 2019, move to abrogate Article 370 has saddened the people of Jammu and Kashmir to the core because, over the years and decades, people had been led to believe that this article of the constitution was permanent.
A party statement issued here reads: “The Supreme Court’s decision upholding the central government’s August 5, 2019, move has deeply saddened the J&K people as they had been led to believe that Article 370 of the constitution was permanent. The verdict from a five-judge Constitution bench, headed by the Chief Justice of India, has now clarified that the article is gone forever, leaving people deeply disheartened. It is the responsibility of the central government to come forward and assure the people that they will not be subjected to disempowerment.”
The statement further said, “Apni Party urges the government to bring the domicile law into the constitutional framework in a way that guarantees the exclusive rights of the residents of Jammu and Kashmir to land and jobs. Additionally, the government should ensure the immediate restoration of statehood to Jammu and Kashmir and the prompt holding of assembly elections. This will enable the residents to exercise their democratic right of choosing their own representatives.
‘Disappointed but not disheartened’: Omar Abdullah
Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister and National Conference (NC) leader Omar Abdullah on Monday expressed his disappointment in response to the Supreme Court’s ruling on pleas challenging the abrogation of Article 370. In a post on X, Abdullah affirmed, “Disappointed but not disheartened. The struggle will continue.” Reflecting on the prolonged effort by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to abrogate Article 370, he added, “It took the BJP decades to reach here. We are also prepared for the long haul.”
Supreme Court Verdict on Article 370 Disappointing: Sajad Lone
Just minutes after the Supreme Court upheld the removal of Article 370, Sajad Lone, the President of the Jammu and Kashmir Peoples Conference, expressed disappointment.
Lone conveyed his dissatisfaction with the verdict, stating, “The Supreme Court verdict on Article 370 is disappointing. Justice yet again eludes the people of J and K.”
“The Supreme Court verdict on Article 370 is disappointing. Justice yet again eludes the people of J and K. Article 370 may have been legally obliterated but will always remain a part of our political aspirations,” he said in a post on X.
“In the case of statehood the Supreme Court sidestepped even commenting on it, thus protecting the entire country from any future misuse, by citing precedence. Yet the same misuse was subtly endorsed in J & K. Let us hope at a future date Justice wakes up from its slumber of pretence,” he added.
Won’t leave struggle midway”: Mehbooba
People’s Democratic Party (PDP) President Mehbooba Mufti on Monday said that verdict of Supreme Court on Article 370 is not a permanent rather it is a political fight and we as collectively won’t leave the struggle midway.
In her video message, Mehbooba said “My dearest countrymen! Don’t loose hope. Jammu and Kashmir has seen many ups and down in past, so the decision of Supreme Court on Article 370 is not our final destiny”.
She said our opponents want us to be disappointed and disheartened but we as a nation should not lose hope and continue our struggle to the logical end.
“It is nor our fall but a failure of the India of India. At the time of partition, J&K shook hands with Gandhi’s secular India so it is the fall of that idea, not ours,” Mehbooba said.
She said the verdict of Supreme Court on Article 370 was not less a news of execution for India. “The present regime of India have weakened the idea of India and made those powers strong who were asserting that accession of J&K with the Union of India has been formed on temporary basis,” she said.
“This is just beginning they did with J&K, but it will spread in the entire country in times to come,” Mehbooba said.
She continued that the decision pronounced by Supreme Court is not permanent, it is a political fight and we will not leave our struggle midway. Let’s unite and determine to achieve our rights with our commitment and enthusiasm.
Disappointed with Supreme Court verdict: GN Azad
Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad conveyed disappointment over the Supreme Court’s validation of the abrogation of Article 370.
He voiced concerns regarding the local sentiment, stating that people in the region were discontent with the verdict, although he appreciated the court’s defined timeline for assembly polls.
As the head of the Democratic Progressive Azad Party (DPAP), Azad highlighted potential consequences of removing Article 35A, warning of exacerbated unemployment due to increased competition from individuals across the country vying for jobs.
SC verdict endorses PM’s visionary policies for J&K: Chugh
BJP national general secretary and J&K and Laddakh party Incharge Tarun Chugh today welcomed the Supreme Court decision to upholdthe Narendra Modi govt’s decision on Section 370 and 35A of the Constitution and said it was a historic victory of PM Shri Narendra Modi ji’s visionary step.
Chugh said J&K entered a new era of growth and development after 2019 sd the J &K government is determined to ensure that the fruits of progress not only reach people of J&K but also extend their benefits to the most vulnerable and marginalised sections of our society who suffered due to Article
Chugh said that the decision of the Supreme Court makes it clear that Congress could have removed the temporary provision of Article 370 earlier but due to the appeasement politics of Nehru, Gandhi, Abdullah and Mufti families, they did not do so.
This decision is a victory for the country, a victory for women and SCSTs who have been deprived of their rights for years.
He said the verdict is not just a legal judgment; it is a beacon of hope, a promise of a brighter future and a testament to our collective resolve to build a stronger, more united India.
Chugh said ever since J &K turned a new chapter there has been a 45.2% reduction in terrorist incidents and 90% reduction in infiltration as compared to 2018 to 2023.
The Law and order issues like stone pelting have reduced by 97%.even as there has been a 65% reduction in casualties among security personnel.
Chugh said in 2018, the incidents of stone pelting were 1,767, which are now almost zero. After the abolition of 370, the network of terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir has been destroyed.