Six petitioners, including two former high-ranking military officers, have approached the Supreme Court to challenge the centre's move to scrap Jammu and Kashmir's special status under Article 370 and bifurcate it into two union territories.
The petitions, including those filed by former Air Vice Marshal Kapil Kak and retired Major General Ashok Mehra, claim that the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Bill and amendments made to Article 370 "struck at the heart of the principles on which the state" was integrated with India. Taking such a legislative step without the affirmation or sanction of the people of Jammu and Kashmir violated the constitutional imperative of Jammu and Kashmir, they added.
The other petitioners are Radha Kumar, a former member of the Home Ministry's Group of Interlocutors for Jammu and Kashmir (2010-11); Hindal Haidar Tyabji, a former IAS officer belonging to the Jammu and Kashmir cadre; Gopal Pillai, a former Union Home Secretary; and Amitabha Pande, a former Secretary of the Union Government's Inter-State Council.
The centre had stripped the restive state of its special status and bifurcated it into two union territories of Ladakh and Jammu and Kashmir in a surprise move on August 5, shortly after placing its top political leaders under house arrest. It also imposed severe restrictions on the region, sparking allegations of rights violations from opposition leaders and activist groups.
Yesterday, the Supreme Court adjourned a hearing on a legal challenge to the centre's decision filed by lawyer-activist ML Sharma after observing that his petition has "no meaning". "What kind of petition is this? What are you challenging, what are your pleadings," Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi asked Mr Sharma. "I read your petition for half an hour. I couldn't understand it."
The petitioner then said that he will file an amended petition.
(With inputs from ANI)