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Supreme Court says no to referring abrogation of Article 370 to larger bench

Pratiba Raman

Supreme Court says no to referring abrogation of Article 370 to larger bench
New Delhi: The Supreme Court has refused to refer the issue of abrogation of Article 370 to a larger bench. A 5-judge bench, headed by NV Ramana is hearing the case. And with this judgment, these judges will only continue to hear the case.

NGO People's Union of Civil Liberties (PUCL), Jammu and Kashmir High Court Bar Association and an intervenor had sought referring the matter to a larger bench.

It might be recalled that the petitioners had sought reference to a larger bench on the ground that two judgments of the Supreme Court -- Prem Nath Kaul versus Jammu and Kashmir in 1959 and Sampat Prakash versus Jammu and Kashmir in 1970 -- which dealt with the issue of Article 370 are in direct conflict with each other and therefore the current bench of five judges could not hear the issue, as reported by India Today.

It further reported that Attorney General KK Venugopal, appearing for the Centre, had told the Supreme Court bench -- also comprising Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul, R Subhash Reddy, B R Gavai and Surya Kant -- that "the abrogation of provisions of Article 370, has now become a "fait accompli" leaving sole option to accept the change".

Referring to the two earlier judgments, Venugopal had said that they were not related to each other and dealt with different issues.

On August 5, 2019, the Indian government, headed by PM Modi moved a resolution to abrogate the contentious articles 370 and 35A.

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