Article 370: SC’s 5-judge bench starts hearing

The Supreme Court’s five-judge Constitution bench commenced hearing on a clutch of petitions challenging the Centre’s decision to scrap special status given to Jammu and Kashmir and its bifurcation into two UTs with the petitioners contending that the decision was illegal and unconstitutional.

Initiating the arguments, senior advocate Raju Ramachandran, appearing for bureaucrat-turned activist Shah Faesal and others, told a bench of Justices N V Ramana, S K Kaul, R Subhash Reddy, B R Gavai and Surya Kant that constitutionally prescribed procedures were not followed under which amendment in Article 370 could be done only on the recommendation of the state.

He said the Centre brought the amendment under the “temporary cover” of the President’s rule.

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