New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Tuesday sought the Central government's stand on whether Article 370, which grants special autonomous status to Jammu and Kashmir, lapsed with dissolution of Constituent Assembly in 1957.
A bench led by Chief Justice of India JS Khehar issued a notice to the Centre, seeking its response in four weeks.
Incidentally, this is fourth such petition in the top court which has brought to fore the controversy over continuance of Article 370 and Article 35A in J&K.
The petition, moved by Kumari Vijayalakshmi Jha, has contended that Article 370 was a temporary provision that had lapsed with dissolution of the state’s Constituent Assembly in 1957.
It said the question before the court for consideration was whether the temporary provision lapsed automatically with the dissolution of the Constituent Assembly of Jammu and Kashmir on 26 January, 1957.
The petition added that continuance of temporary provision of Article 370, which had never got the assent/approval of President of India/Parliament/government of India, regarding matters like citizenship, amounted to fraud on the basic structure of our Constitution, and was against the sovereignty, integrity, unity of the nation.
Two other such petitions had laid challenge to Articles 370 and 35A on the ground of violating fundamental rights to equality and liberty. They also contended that Article 370 was a temporary provision and that it could not be now construed as a permanent part of the Indian Constitution.
Another PIL has demanded treating Hindus as minority in J&K, and questioned if the state was exempted from applicability of the National Commission for Minority Act under Article 370, there is no reason why money should be allocated to them by the Centre.