National Conference Moves SC Against Presidential Orders on Kashmir

The National Conference mounted a legal challenge in the Supreme Court on Saturday to the changes made in the constitutional status of Jammu and Kashmir, contending that these have taken away the rights of its citizens without their mandate.

Arguing that the legislation approved by Parliament and the orders issued by the President were “unconstitutional”, the petition prayed for these to be declared as “void and inoperative”. The petition has been filed by Mohammad Akbar Lone and Hasnain Masoodi, both Lok Sabha members belonging to the NC.

The petitioners said that the legislation and the Presidential orders are “illegal and violative” of fundamental rights guaranteed under Articles 14 and 21 of the Constitution to the people of Jammu and Kashmir. The two MPs submitted that the SC now has to examine whether the Union government can “unilaterally” unravel the federal scheme under the cover of President’s rule while undermining crucial elements of due process and rule of law.

Meanwhile, big queues formed outside cash machines and food stores in Srinagar Saturday as authorities eased a crippling curfew ahead of Eid al-Adha festival Monday, residents said. But huge number of troops remained on the streets a day after security forces used tear gas to break up a huge demonstration against the government’s move to revoke Kashmir’s autonomy, they added.

Internet and phone lines have been cut and curfew restrictions have been imposed to prevent unrest. “Bank machines are running out of cash so there are queues at every machine where notes may be available. People also need food for Eid,” added a second resident.

A top administrative official said essential commodities, including food, grains and meat, would be delivered to different parts of the region by Sunday. 

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