SC expresses anguish over filing of defective petitions on Article 370

Abha Gupta. Dated: 8/16/2019 3:12:01 PM


The Supreme Court on Friday expressed anguish over "defective" petitions on the issue of scrapping of provisions of Article 370 of the Constitution.

A bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi said the petition by advocate M L Sharma has "no meaning".

The CJI said he spent 30 minutes reading the petition but could not make out anything and also could not understand what was the prayer.

"What kind of petition is this? It could have been dismissed but there are 5 other pleas with the registry which are under defect," the bench also comprising Justices S A Bobde and S A Najeer said.

"You are not praying for setting aside the Presidential order. What is the prayer it is not clear. It can be dismissed on technical grounds.

"In a matter of this nature if this is the petition, there is no meaning," the bench said.

The court was hearing the petition by Sharma, who had filed it on August 6, a day after the Centre had abrogated Jammu and Kashmir's special status.

The apex court asked lawyers to cure defects in their six petitions on Article 370 and adjourned the hearing.

The bench also noted that it was hearing the petition on Article 370 by breaking the combination of judges which was hearing the sensitive Ayodhya matter.

During the hearing, advocate Shakil Sabeer said he was the resident of J-K and had filed the petition against the scrapping of Article 370 which has led to the creation of union territories of J-K and Ladakh.

He said he had cured the defects but the petition was not listed.

The bench enquired from its apex court registry and found that the defects were cured on Wednesday evening.

The bench said the defects were cured on Wednesday evening and Thursday was a holiday. Then how did he expected the listing of his petition today?

"Why did you file a defective petition in the matter of this importance," an anguished bench asked the lawyer.

"You file a defective petition and trouble my officers," the CJI said.

The bench asked the lawyer if he knows how many petitions on J-K issue are in the apex court and are under defects?

The bench told him that six petitions have been filed on the issue.

"In the matter of this seriousness people are filing defective petitions," the bench said.

The National Conference, the main political party of Jammu and Kashmir, has also filed a petition posing legal challenges in the apex court to the changes made in the constitutional status of J-K, contending that these have taken away rights of its citizens without their mandate.

Arguing that the legislation approved by Parliament and orders issued by the President subsequently were "unconstitutional", the petition prayed for these to be declared as "void and inoperative".

The petition has been filed by Mohammad AKbar Lone and Justice (rtd) Hasnain Masoodi, both Lok Sabha members belonging to the NC.

Lone is a former speaker of the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly and Masoodi a retired judge of the Jammu and Kashmir High Court, who ruled in 2015 that Article 370 was a permanent feature of the Constitution.

Some other individuals have also filed a petition in the Supreme Court but they were not listed for hearing on Friday.

 

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