"Wounds Require Healing": Justice SK Kaul's Separate Order On Article 370

"I recommend the setting up of an impartial Truth and Reconciliation committee to investigate and report on the violations of human rights both by the state and non-state actors," Justice Kaul said.

New Delhi:

In a separate ruling during the hearing of the scrapping of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir, Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul called for an impartial investigation into human rights abuses in Jammu and Kashmir since the 1980s. 

"I recommend the setting up of an impartial Truth and Reconciliation committee to investigate and report on the violations of human rights both by the state and non-state actors at least since the 1980s and recommend measures for reconciliation," Justice Kaul said. 

"To move forward, wounds require healing. Inter-generational trauma is felt by people. The first step towards healing the wounds is the acknowledgment of the acts of violations done by the state and its actors," he added.

Justice Kaul emphasised the original intent of Article 370, stating its aim was to gradually integrate Jammu and Kashmir into India.

"The purpose of Article 370 was to slowly bring Jammu and Kashmir on par with the other states of India. The requirement of recommendation of Jammu and Kashmir Constituent Assembly cannot be read in a manner that makes the larger intention redundant," he said. 

While acknowledging the need for gradual integration, Justice Kaul raised concerns about the use of "backdoor amendments" to bypass established procedures. He stressed that when a specific method for amendment is prescribed, such as the one outlined in Article 367, it must be followed.

"Regarding the amendment of Article 370 using 367, I have said when a procedure is prescribed, it has to be followed. Amendment through the backdoor not permissible," he said.

The Supreme Court today validated the government's to scrap Article 370, a constitutional provision that bestowed special status upon the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir. 

A five-judge bench, led by Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud, directed the government to facilitate the conduct of elections to the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly within a specific timeframe, setting the deadline for September 30, 2024.

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