The Supreme Court of India has started hearing a batch of petitions challenging the validity of the government’s decision to revoke Jammu and Kashmir’s special status under Article 370. The court has raised the question of how a constitutional provision that was intended to be temporary had come to be considered permanent and how it prohibited its own annulment. The counsel for National Conference leader Mohammad Akbar Lone, Kapil Sibal, provided a historical perspective on the issue and highlighted that the state of Kashmir did not sign the instrument of accession like other princely states in India. Sibal argued that the relationship between Jammu and Kashmir and India was different from that of other states and that Article 370 gave the state a special status within India.
The judges raised several questions during the hearing, including what happens when the Constituent Assembly of a state ceases to exist. The CJI also questioned whether an independent entity that unconditionally accepts the sovereignty of another state can restrain the Parliament of that state in terms of the initial instrument of accession. Sibal argued that Article 370 was not temporary because the Constituent Assembly of Jammu and Kashmir did not exist when the Indian Constitution was framed.
The Supreme Court’s hearing on the validity of the government’s decision to revoke Jammu and Kashmir’s special status under Article 370 is significant and has raised important questions about the nature of the relationship between the state and India. The court will continue to examine these issues in the coming weeks.