Srinagar, Apr 03: In a significant reiteration of J&K’s special status, the Supreme Court of India on Tuesday said that Article 370 was a permanent provision in the Constitution.
The apex court said that in its earlier verdict of 2017 in the Securitisation and Reconstruction of Financial Assets (SARFESI) case, it had been already held that Article 370 was “not a temporary provision”.
“The issue concerned is covered by the judgment 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,” a bench of justices A K Goel and R F Nariman said.
During the hearing, Additional Solicitor General (ASG), Tushar Mehta, appearing for the government of India, said the matter be heard after some time as similar matters were pending before the court.
Senior advocate, Rajeev Dhavan and advocate Shoeb Alam, appearing for the Jammu and Kashmir government, clarified that the other matters pending before the apex court related to Article 35 A of the Constitution and not Article 370 as submitted by the ASG.
Dhavan said that the matter cannot be heard along with the present case dealing with the Article 370 alone.
On the insistence of the ASG, the bench adjourned the matter for three weeks.
Commenting over the SC’s remark, Senior Lawyer Zaffar Shah said: “The Supreme Court has already ruled that Article 370 is a permanent provision of the constitution of India. This view has been taken by the Supreme Court in its decision delivered in December 2016, while dealing with the SARFAESI cases.”
Shah said the decision was also delivered by Justice R F Nariman.
“What he (Justice Nariman) observed in the court is the same view which he had recorded in the earlier decision,” he said.
“At the same time, the Supreme Court has, instead of dismissing of petition, granted three weeks to the party to complete pleadings.”
The top court was hearing an appeal filed by petitioner Kumari Vijayalakshmi Jha against the Delhi High Court’s April 11, 2017, order dismissing the plea seeking a declaration that Article 370 is “temporary in nature”.
The petitioner had alleged that Article 370 was a “temporary” provision that had lapsed with the dissolution of the Constituent Assembly in 1957.