A five-judge constitution bench of the Supreme Court gave its verdict on the matter of the removal of Article 370 from Jammu and Kashmir. The court refused to refer the petitions challenging the constitutional validity of the Center’s decision to repeal Article 370 to the larger bench.
Earlier on 23 January, a five-judge constitution bench headed by Justice NV Ramana reserved its decision. The Supreme Court had said that after hearing this case, we will now consider where to send this case. The petitioners had requested to be sent to the seven-judge bench, while the Center had opposed sending it to the larger bench. The SC agreed with the government’s plea that there is no contradiction between the two earlier decisions regarding Article 370 (Prem Nath Kaul vs Jammu and Kashmir in 1959 and Sampat Prakash vs Jammu and Kashmir in 1970). Hence, there is no need to send the matter to the bench of 7 judges.
It may be noted that on August 5 last year, the central government decided to remove Article 370 from Jammu and Kashmir. With this, the Central Government converted the state of Jammu and Kashmir into two Union Territories, Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh. After this, the constitutional validity of the removal of Article 370 was challenged in the Supreme Court.