A group of former defence personnel and bureaucrats who had served in Jammu and Kashmir on Saturday moved the Supreme Court to file a petition to challenge the Narendra Modi-led administration’s decision to repeal Article 370, taking away Jammu and Kashmir’s special status and splitting the region into two Union Territories, LiveLaw reported.
The petition said the amendment made to Article 370 of the Constitution did not have the sanction of the people of Jammu and Kashmir and strikes at the heart of the principles on which the state had been integrated into India.
The petition was filed by Radha Kumar, a former member of the Home Ministry’s Group of Interlocutors for Jammu and Kashmir (2010-11), Hindal Haidar Tyabji, a former Chief Secretary of the State of Jammu, Air Vice Marshal (retired) Kapil Kak, a permanent resident of Jammu and Kashmir and decorated officer, and Major General (retired) Ashok Kumar Mehta, who had held postings in the Uri Sector and fought in the 1965 and 1971 India-Pakistan wars.
The other petitioners include Amitabha Pande, a former Secretary of the Inter State Council of the Government of India, and Gopal Pillai, a former Union Home Secretary.
The petition was drafted by advocates Arjun Krishnan, Kaustubh Singh and Rajlakshmi Singh and settled by senior advocate Prashanto Chandra Sen.
“The impugned orders/acts are arbitrary and contrary to the basic structure principles of Rule of Law, Federalism, Democracy and the Separation of Powers, apart from violating fundamental rights of citizens of India,” the petition said referring to President Ram Nath Kovind’s orders.
The petition said getting the consent of the people before amending Article 370 was a constitutional imperative.
On Friday, the Supreme Court had adjourned a hearing on a legal challenge against the Centre’s decision filed by lawyer-activist ML Sharma after observing that his petition had “no meaning”. “What kind of petition is this? What are you challenging, what are your pleadings,” Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi had said. “I read your petition for half an hour. I couldn’t understand it.”