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Article 370 Is not A Temporary Provision, Says Supreme Court

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| April 4 , 2018 , 11:35 IST

The Supreme Court on Tuesday observed that Article 370 of the Constitution is not a temporary provision. Article 370 grants special, autonomous status to Jammu and Kashmir.

The apex court said that in its earlier verdict of 2017 in the Securitisation and Reconstruction of Financial Assets and Enforcement of Security Interest (SARFESI) case, it has been already held that Article 370 was 'not a temporary provision."

A bench of justices A.K. Goel and R.F. Nariman said, “The issue concerned is covered by the judgement of this court in the 2017 SARFAESI matter, where we have held that despite the headnote of Article 370, it is not a temporary provision."

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The court was hearing an appeal filed by petitioner Kumari Vijayalakshmi Jha against a 2017 Delhi High Court order that dismissed a plea seeking to declare Article 370 temporary in nature. The petitioner said that Article 370 had lapsed and that the separate constitution of Jammu and Kashmir be declared illegal.

Jha claimed that the continuing Article 370 even after the dissolution of the Constituent Assembly of Jammu and Kashmir, and that of the Jammu and Kashmir “amounts to fraud on the basic structure of our Constitution.”

During the hearing, Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta appearing for the Centre said that the matter be heard after some time as similar matters are pending before the court and are to be listed shortly.

Senior advocate Rajeev Dhavan and advocate Shoeb Alam appearing for the Jammu and Kashmir government clarified that other matters which are pending before the apex court relates to Article 35 A of the Constitution and not Article 370 as submitted by the ASG.

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Earlier, Union Minister of State for Home Hansraj Gangaram Ahir had told the Lok Sabha there was no proposal to scrap Article 370. The petitioner Vijayalakshmi Jha had moved a similar writ petition in 2014 which was dismissed in limine by the apex court.

The BJP’s election manifesto in 2014 had included scrapping Article 370. This has been a matter of contention between the BJP and its ally in Jammu and Kashmir, the People’s Democratic Party.