Supreme Court Constitution Bench unanimously upholds abrogation of Article 370

Chambers of Ishaan Garg

Ch. No. 217, Western Wing, District & Sessions Court, Tis Hazari, New Delhi, Delhi 110054

+91 8851742417, +91 8800386163

The Supreme Court on Monday upheld the Central government's 2019 decision to abrogate Article 370 of the Constitution which had conferred special status on the erstwhile State of Jammu and Kashmir [In Re: Article 370 of the Constitution].

A Constitution Bench of Chief Justice of India (CJI) DY Chandrachud and Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul, Sanjiv Khanna, BR Gavai and Surya Kant unanimously upheld the decision of the government to take away Article 370 on the ground that the same was a transitory provision.

The verdict came in a batch of petitions challenging the Central government's 2019 move to delete Article 370.

The Parliament subsequently passed the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act bifurcating the State into the two Union Territories - Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh.

There were three judgments in total. One was authored by CJI Chandrachud on behalf of himself, Justice Gavai and Justice Kant. Justices Kaul and Khanna authored separate concurring judgments.

The Court held that Article 370 was only a transitory provision enacted partly due to the wartime conditions in Jammu and Kashmir (J&K).

"We hold that Article 370 is a temporary provision. It was introduced to serve transitional purposes, to provide for an interim arrangement until the Constituent Assembly of the State was formed and could take a decision on the legislative competence of the Union on matters other than the ones stipulated in the instrument of accession and to ratify the Constitution. Second, it was for a temporary purpose, an interim arrangement, in view of the special circumstances because of the war conditions in the State," the Court said.

The Court opined that simply because the Constituent Assembly ceased to exist, it did not mean Article 370 would continue permanently.

"The President was empowered to issue the order to abrogate Article 370," the Court concluded.

"Article 370(3) was introduced for constitutional integration and not for constitutional disintegration. Holding that 370(3) cannot be used after constituent assembly was dissolved cannot be accepted," the Court added.