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Verdict On Article 370 Will End Psychological Duality Of J&K Residents: Tushar Mehta To SC

SG Tushar Mehta asserted that the decision of the SC in the case will be 'historic' and would end the 'psychological duality' of J&K residents.

General News
| Written By
Mahima Joshi

Article 370 judgement will end psychological duality of J&K residents, said SG Tushar Mehta in SC on August 24. | Credit: Unsplash/Representative

Commencing the Centre’s arguments in support of abrogation of Article 370 from the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir in the Supreme Court, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta on Thursday asserted that the decision of the top court in the matter will be ‘historic’ and would end the ‘psychological duality’ of J&K residents. Further stating that the abrogation of Article 370 was required to ensure that the people of Jammu and Kashmir can avail welfare schemes of the Centre, the Solicitor General, representing the Union government, said that the abrogation has permitted the people of J&K to enjoy similar rights and privileges as the rest of the country.

“This is a historical case in more than one way. For the first time in 75 years, the court will be considering the privileges that were denied to J&K People and how Article 370 was acting in detriment of Central government schemes reaching the valley,” the Solicitor General said, adding, “There was a psychological duality prevailing in the region which has ended with the abrogation.”

He said that the “psychological duality" resulted because of the confusion arising out of the nature of Article 370 as to whether the special provision was temporary or permanent.

The debate regarding Article 370 took the spotlight after the BJP-ruled central government on August 5, 2019 abrogated the article and revoked the special status granted to Jammu and Kashmir, bifurcating it into two Union Territories. Several petitions challenging the abrogation of the provisions of Article 370 and the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, 2019, were referred to a Constitution Bench in 2019.

No part should lack rights enjoyed by the rest: SG Tushar Mehta 

Detailing the historical background of the contentious article in the Indian Constitution, Mehta highlighted, “Substantial arguments were made that J&K had a special place in geographical British India because that was the only part that had a constitution in 1939. That is factually incorrect. Several states were in the process of drafting their Constitution during the late 1930s and many signed the common draft accession document.”

"Some of them made their Constitution and thereafter signed accession. The draft accession document was common to all. Everyone signed that," the SG told the Supreme Court Bench. Further contending that 'Equality of Status' was the goal while framing the Constitution, he added, “One segment of the Union cannot be deprived of rights enjoyed by the rest of the country.” 

Ends cannot justify means: SC to Centre

While hearing a challenge to the validity of the 2019 abrogation of Article 370 that granted J&K special status and an act that restructured the state into two Union territories, the Supreme Court Bench headed by Chief justice of India (CJI) DY Chandrachud in response to the Union government's reply, said, "We cannot postulate a situation where ends justify the means. Means also have to be consistent with the ends."

The SC Bench's remarks came after Attorney General R Venkataramani, representing centre, cited US President Abraham Lincoln to lay emphasis on the concept of balance between preserving the nation and upholding the Constitution. He cited Lincoln's assertion, "By general law, life and limb must be protected. But a limb can be amputated to save a life, whereas a life is never given to save a limb."

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