Omar Abdullah-led National Conference has moved the Supreme Court challenging the Indian government’s move to abrogate Article 370 which gave Jammu and Kashmir a special status and to bifurcate it into two federally-ruled territories.
National Conference leaders Mohammad Akbar Lone and Hasnain Mahsood filed the petition on the party’s behalf today, reports our New Delhi correspondent.
Indian parliament had passed a resolution supporting the Presidential order to scrap Article 370 and also passed a bill to reorganise the state into two separate territories of Jammu-Kashmir and Ladakh.
National Conference have steadfastly opposed the repeal of Article 370 and described the Indian government’s action as “unconstitutional”.
Another regional leader, Mehbooba Mufti of the People’s Democratic Party, which is Omar’s local political rival, had also attacked the Indian government’s move and called it “the darkest day in Indian democracy”.
Earlier, on Thursday last, the Supreme Court had refused to give urgent hearing to a separate plea filed by a lawyer challenging the Presidential Order on repealing Article 370.
The matter was mentioned for urgent listing before a bench headed by Justice NV Ramana.
Advocate ML Sharma, who had filed the petition, urged the court that his plea be listed for hearing either on August 12 or 13.
The scrapping of Article 370 has seen opinion in the legal fraternity on it with several legal experts opining that the government had the authority to recommend its abrogation in the absence of Jammu and Kashmir legislative assembly, while many others suggesting it was against the spirit of the article.
Mainstream political parties in Jammu and Kashmir suggest that special provisions in Article 370 enabled the state’s accession to India in 1947.
Under Article 370 of the constitution, the state of Jammu and Kashmir enjoyed complete autonomy and the state legislature was free to draft its own laws except in the areas of communications, defence, finance, and foreign affairs, while non-state subjects were prohibited from purchasing land in the state.
The article also gave the state its own flag, constitution and a separate penal code.
But over the decades, much of the autonomy under Article 370 eroded as successive Indian and the state governments allowed federal Indian laws to apply to Jammu and Kashmir.