The Supreme Court on Tuesday has fixed November 14 to commence hearing on a batch of pleas challenging the abrogation of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir. The five-judge Constitution bench of the apex court allowed the Centre and the Jammu and Kashmir administration to file counter-affidavits on petitions challenging scrapping of Article 370. The top court refused the plea of petitioners that not more than two weeks be given to Centre and Jammu and Kashmir administration for filing counter-affidavits. The apex court also put embargo on filing of any fresh writ petition challenging constitutional validity on abrogation of Article 370.
Attorney General (AG) KK Venugopal asked for four weeks time to file a counter affidavit to file his reply to the batch of petitions challenging the abrogation of Article 370. The Solicitor General representing state of J&K also said he needed four weeks to file the reply to the petitions. The bench gave the order after asking how can a matter as important as this be decided without giving the government a chance to respond. The petitioners in the case pending before the Supreme Court regarding the challenge to the constitutional validity of Article 35A had also sought to be impleaded as parties to the hearing before the Constitution bench.
The Supreme Court on Saturday set up a five-judge Constitution bench head by Justice N V Ramana to hear a batch of pleas related to abrogation of Article 370 provisions that gave special status to Jammu and Kashmir. From October, the bench commenced hearing to examine the constitutional validity of the scrapping of the article's provisions and the subsequent presidential orders on it. While referring to the batch of petitions to the Constitution bench, a bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi in August had said the larger bench will commence hearing on the issue in the first week of October. Several petitions have been filed challenging the Centre's decision abrogating the Article 370 provisions and bifurcating the state into Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh.