Omar Abdullah's NC challenges Centre's move on Article 370 in Supreme Court
New Delhi : Omar Abdullah's National Conference has challenged Centre's move to scrap Article 370 of the Indian Constitution that gave special status to Jammu and Kashmir and bifurcation of the state into two Union Territories in the Supreme Court on Saturday. In its petition - filed by party MPs Akbar Lone and Hasnain Masoodi - the party claimed the centre's move was "illegal".
Omar Abdullah, former Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti and other top leaders were put into house arrest before Centre locked down the valley ahead of passing the bill in the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha. More than 50,000 security personnel have been deputed in the state in addition to the regular troops to maintain law and order.
The National Conference has appealed to the court that the decision to scrap the Article 370 by the President is invalid as no consent from the Jammu and Kashmir assembly has been taken on the matter.
The government, however, clarified that the state was under President's rule, empowering it to speak for the state.
The government has used a provision under the Article 370 that empowers the President to declare the special status inoperative anytime. The Section 3 of the Article 370 states: "Notwithstanding anything in the foregoing provisions of this article, the President may, by public notification, declare that this article shall cease to be operative or shall be operative only with such exceptions and modifications and from such date as he may specify".
The petition has argued that the President himself was acting on the advice of the union cabinet, so it amounts to the "same constitutional functionary taking its own consent, to effect a fundamental structural change without consultation or concurrence of the persons affected by that change, or their elected representatives". This, the petition said, was "arbitrary" and "contrary to the rule of law".