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Abrogation of Article 370: SC refers matter to Constitution Bench, hearing in October


New Delhi, Aug 28: The Supreme Court has referred to a five judge constitution Bench a batch of petitions that challenged the abrogation of Article 370.

While hearing the petitions, Chief Justice of India, Ranjan Gogoi said, "this has to be heard and we think it should go to a five judge Bench." The court also issued notices to the Centre and the Jammu and Kashmir government.

File photo of Supreme Court

Both Attorney General, K K Venugopal and Solicitor General Tushar Mehta requested the court not to issue formal notices. They said that this would have cross border repercussions and may be used by other countries. They said that the issue was a sensitive one and whatever happens here is raked up in the United Nations. The court however rejected the request and said that it wants responses from both the Centre and J&K government in one week.

The court said that the matter relating to the abrogation would be taken up by the Constitution Bench in the first week of October. On the issue relating to the restrictions on the media and other communication blockades, the court would take up the matter next week after the Centre and the Jammu and Kashmir government file its responses.

Earlier the court allowed a Jamia Milia students to travel to Anantnag to meet his parents. The court has also ordered that he be given protection, while travelling too Jammu and Kashmir.

While hearing a petition filed by Sitaram Yechury seeking permission to go to meet a party general secretary in Jammu and Kashmir, the same was objected to by the Solicitor General Tushar Mehta. The SG said that this could be purely for political purposes.

Chief Justice of India, Ranjan Gogoi told Yechury, 'just remember that you are going to meet a friend (Yousuf Tarigami) and will do nothing else." To Mehta's objection, the CJI said if he does anything else, you can stop him and report back. If a citizen wants to go to a part of a country, he must get access, the CJI also told the J&K government.

Article 370: SC permits Sitaram Yechury to visit J&K with a strict condition

Yechury, then gave an undertaking through his counsel that he is going to J&K only to meet his party colleague. The court recorded that if Yechury does anything else, it would be construed as a violation of the court order.

The court was hearing a batch of petitions challenging the Centre's decision to abrogate Article 370, revoking the special status of Jammu and Kashmir.

Article 370: Govt begins process to release political leaders in a phased manner

While the petition against the scrapping of Article 370 has been filed by advocate M L Sharma, National Conference MPs Mohd Akbar Lone and Justice (rtd) Hasnain Masoodi have challenged the changes made in the constitutional status of Jammu and Kashmir by the Centre.

They have also been joined by former IAS officer Shah Faesal and former JNU student leader Shehla Rashid and several others including eminent persons like Radha Kumar.

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