Indian top court forms bench to hear pleas challenging abrogation of Article

During the hearing, Chief Justice of India (CJI) Ranjan Gogoi issued notices to the central government and others to reply within seven days and announced that the hearing will start in the first week of October.

NEW DELHI (INP): The Indian Supreme Court on Wednesday has formed five-judge constitution bench to hear petitions challenging bifurcation of Article 370 that gave special status to the occupied Kashmir.

During the hearing, Chief Justice of India (CJI) Ranjan Gogoi issued notices to the central government and others to reply within seven days and announced that the hearing will start in the first week of October.

He also permitted Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) leader Sitaram Yechury to visit Jammu and Kashmir to meet his party leader and former Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA), Yousuf Tarigami.

“We will allow you to go, you are the general secretary of a party. Don’t go for anything else,” CJI Gogoi was quoted by news agency ANI.

It is to be mentioned here that one plea was submitted by Sitaram Yechury in which he challenged the detention of Kashmir politician and party general secretary Mohammed Yousuf Tarigami.

The second pleas was filed by social activist Tehseen Poonawalla who has raised the issue of lockdown in the valley as amounting to suspension of Article 19 (freedom of speech) and 21 (personal liberty) of the Constitution.

The plea said, “The actions taken by Union of India pertains to gross abuse of its powers under law, whereby the people of J&K are suffering on account of unwarranted imposition of undeclared curfew and further emergency-like restrictions are being imposed under the garb of Section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973.”

Another plea by National Conference leader Mohammad Akbar Lone stated that the right to autonomous self-government within a federal framework is an essential fundamental right. These valuable rights have been taken away without the “procedure established by law” in a manner that violates every canon of Constitutional morality.

Independent politician and former bureaucrat from Kashmir Shah Faesal and human rights activist Shehla Rashid in a joint petition challenged the abrogation of Article 370.

On the other hand, six retired military officers and bureaucrats had also raised voice against scrapping of Kashmir’s autonomy.

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