The Supreme Court is set to deliver its judgement in the Article 370 abrogation case on Monday, December 11.
A Constitution Bench, led by Chief Justice of India (CJI) DY Chandrachud and including Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul, Sanjiv Khanna, BR Gavai, and Surya Kant, will reveal its decision in response to a series of petitions challenging the Central government's 2019 move to revoke Article 370.
Following 16 days of hearings between August 2 and September 5, where some of India’s leading legal minds debated the permanence of Article 370 in the Constitution, the Supreme Court reserved its judgement on petitions challenging its revocation.
The abrogation of Article 370 of the Constitution was a historic but controversial move carried out by the Indian government on August 5, 2019. Article 370 granted special autonomous status to the region of Jammu and Kashmir, allowing it to have its own constitution, flag, and a significant degree of autonomy over internal matters, except defense, communications, and foreign affairs.
What are chief questions that the court has to decide?
- Permanence of Article 370: The court will deliberate on whether Article 370 assumed a permanent character after the dissolution of the Jammu and Kashmir Constituent Assembly in 1957, shortly after framing the erstwhile state’s constitution.
- Legality of Abrogation: The constitutional validity and democratic spirit of the abrogation of Article 370 through a presidential proclamation during the President’s Rule in the former state will be examined.
- Violation of Fundamental Rights: The court will consider whether the government, by not seeking the will of the people of Jammu and Kashmir, violated their fundamental right to equal treatment before the law, as guaranteed under Article 14 of the Constitution.
- Institutional Equivalence: A key question involves whether the Governor, State Legislature, and the Constituent Assembly are interchangeable institutions, as counsel for the government and some of the other parties opposing the petitions have implied in their arguments?