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Supreme Court to list pleas challenging Article 370 after summer vacation

Supreme Court to list pleas challenging Article 370 after summer vacation

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday indicated that it could take up the petitions challenging the central government's decision to abrogate Article 370 after the summer holidays, scheduled from May 23 to July 11.

A bench comprising Chief Justice N V Ramana and Justice Hima Kohli took note of the submissions of senior advocate Shekhar Naphade, appearing for one of the petitioners, that the plea needed an urgent hearing in view of the delimitation exercise being carried out in the state.

"This is the Article 370 matter. The delimitation is also going on," the senior lawyer said.

"Let me see," the CJI said, adding, "This is a five-judge matter. I will have to reconstitute the bench." The court agreed to re-constitute a five-judge bench to hear the pleas after summer vacation.

Several petitions challenging the Centre's decision to abrogate provisions of Article 370 and the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, 2019, which splits J-K into two Union Territories -- Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh -- were referred to a Constitution Bench headed by Justice N V Ramana in 2019 by the then CJI Ranjan Gogoi.

The petitions had been briefly heard in 2019 when the court considered whether the cases would need to be heard by a seven-judge bench. On March 2, 2020, the court decided that the Article 370 abrogation issue could be heard by a five-judge bench.

However, with the Covid pandemic and shift to virtual hearing mode, these cases have not been heard so far. The issue was mentioned for an urgent hearing in 2021, but the bench could not be constituted as it was considered that it would require a physical hearing due to a large number of petitions and lawyers involved.

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TAGS:Abrogation of Article 370 supreme court 
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