New Delhi, January 22, 2020 (PPI-OT):Indian Supreme Court has been told that the Constitution of India and the Constitution of occupied Kashmir are independent of each other and the former can’t be used to alter the latter. Senior counsel, Dinesh Dwivedi said, “If I am correct in my assessment, both the Constitutions are parallel and independent of each other.” Dwivedi, who is representing noted journalist and intervenor Prem Shankar Jha, told this to a five-Judge Bench headed by Justice NV Ramana. He said the Indian government has limited powers to legislate when it comes to JandK and that Article 370 was the link between India and Kashmir.
The Indian government on Tuesday opposed the plea for referring to a larger bench a batch of petitions challenging the presidential orders repealing the special status of occupied Kashmir under Article 370. This submission was made by Attorney General K K Venugopal as a five-judge Constitution bench of the court comprising Justices NV Ramana, SK Kaul, R Subhash Reddy, BR Gavai and Surya Kant resumed hearing on the petitions. “The Union government does not want the matter to be referred to a larger bench,” Venugopal said.
Senior advocates Dinesh Dwivedi and Sanjay Parekh, who have challenged the presidential orders of August 5 last year, argued for the reference of the issue to a larger bench. The court is also considering the constitutional validity of the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganization Act, which bifurcated Kashmir into Union Territories of JandK and Ladakh.
During the proceedings, Dwivedi referred to how the Constitution of Jammu and Kashmir had come into being. He submitted that after the Constitution of JandK came into force in 1957, the powers under Article 370 could not have been used by the Indian President. He said the Indian government has limited powers to legislate when it comes to JandK and that Article 370 was the link between India and Kashmir.
Referring to the August 5 presidential order, he said, “The order virtually abolishes the Constitution of Jammu and Kashmir. It’s a case of implied repeal where a Constitution has been repealed by an executive exercise of powers.” He said that Article 370 was the only “tunnel of light” between India and Kashmir.
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