Constitutional Bench of the Supreme Court Unanimously Upholds the Abrogation of Article 370

A Constitutional Bench, comprising Chief Justice of India (CJI) DY Chandrachud and Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul, Sanjiv Khanna, BR Gavai, and Surya Kant, collectively affirmed the government’s decision to revoke Article 370, citing its transitory nature as the basis for this unanimous decision.


The Supreme Court upheld the Indian government’s 2019 decision to revoke Article 370, which granted special status to the former state of Jammu and Kashmir. The decision, made by a Constitution Bench, emphasized that Article 370 was a temporary provision enacted during wartime conditions in Jammu and Kashmir.


The Court stated “We hold that Article 370 is a temporary provision. It was introduced to serve transitional purposes, to provide for an interim arrangement until the Constituent Assembly of the State was formed and could take a decision on the legislative competence of the Union on matters other than the ones stipulated in the instrument of accession and to ratify the Constitution. Second, it was for a temporary purpose, an interim arrangement, in view of the special circumstances because of the war conditions in the State.” 


The court ruled that the President had the power to issue an order abrogating Article 370, supporting Constitutional Order 272 (CO 272) issued on August 5, 2019, stating that “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 declaration issued by the President under Article 370(3) is a culmination of the process of integration and as such is a valid exercise of power. Thus, CO 273 is valid,”.


However, the court struck down the part of CO 272 that amended Article 367. The judgment clarified that Jammu and Kashmir lost internal sovereignty after accession to India in 1949.


While not addressing the validity of the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, 2019, the court ordered the Election Commission to conduct elections for the Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Assembly by September 30, 2024 and affirmed the creation of the Union Territory of Ladakh.


The decision, involving over 20 petitions, followed a 16-day hearing and was seen as a significant development in India’s constitutional history.

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. The content may not reflect the most current legal developments and is not guaranteed to be accurate, complete, or up-to-date. Readers should consult a qualified legal professional before taking any action based on the information provided. The authors and publishers disclaim any liability for any loss or damage incurred as a result of reliance on this article. This article does not create an attorney-client relationship.

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