Article 370 Scrapping: Security has been strengthened in Kashmir Valley
The Supreme Court today directed the Election Commission of India (EC) to hold elections in Jammu and Kashmir by September 30 next year.
The Supreme Court's direction was part of the verdict on pleas challenging the scrapping of the special status of Jammu and Kashmir.
The top court upheld the government's decision to scrap Article 370, and said steps should be taken to restore the statehood of Jammu and Kashmir at the earliest.
"The President had the power to issue a notification declaring that Article 370(3) ceases to operate without the recommendation of the Constituent Assembly. The continuous exercise of power under Article 370(1) by the President indicates that the gradual process of constitutional integration was ongoing," the Chief Justice said while pronouncing the verdict.
A five-judge bench headed by Chief Justice DY Chandrachud also upheld the validity of the decision to carve out the union territory of Ladakh in August 2019.
Security has been strengthened in Kashmir Valley to avoid any untoward incident. The BJP has said the decision of the top court should be respected.
The Centre had argued that its decisions were taken within the legal framework. It had also contended that the mainstreaming of Jammu and Kashmir has reduced terrorism and provided a level playing field.
Over the last four years, it has helped move the erstwhile state on the fast-track to development, the government had argued.
Article 370 was scrapped and Jammu and Kashmir split in August 2019 - over a year after the PDP-BJP alliance government had collapsed.