India’s SC issues notice to govt on petitions challenging abrogation of Article 370

Indian Supreme Court on Wednesday issued a notice to the federal government on all petitions challenging the revocation of Article 370.

The bench, headed by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi, was hearing a petition by ML Sharma on Article 370 abrogation, which argues that it is an issue of constitutional importance.

The court said that a five-judge constitution bench will take up the 14 petitions being heard today — which relate to Article 370 and the subsequent lockdown in the region — in the first week of October.

“If notice is issued, it will have cross-border repercussions. It will be misused,” the Solicitor General was quoted as saying.

While hearing a petition by Kashmir Times Executive Editor Anuradha Bhasin, which demands an end to communications restrictions in occupied Jammu and Kashmir, the top court issued another notice to the government and asked for a detailed response within a week.

The bench, on another petition, refused a request from the federal government to appoint an interlocutor for Jammu & Kashmir.

Hindustan Times reported that the court allowed Communist Party of India (Marxist) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury and a Kashmiri student who wanted to meet his parents to visit occupied Kashmir, and asked both to file a report when they return.

By repealing Article 370 of the constitution, people from the rest of India will now have the right to acquire property in Kashmir and settle there permanently.

Kashmiris, as well as critics of India’s Hindu nationalist-led government, see the move as an attempt to dilute the demographics of Muslim-majority occupied Kashmir with Hindu settlers.

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