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Madras HC dismisses plea challenging J-K Reorganisation Act


Press Trust of India Chennai
The Madras High Court on Thursday dismissed a petition challenging the constitutional validity of the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, 2019.
The court had on October 22 reserved its order on the maintainability of the plea which sought that the Act be declared unconstitutional and null and void.
The Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, 2019, provides for reconstituting the state into two Union territories -- Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh.
The legislation got the President's assent on August 9, four days after the Centre abrogated Jammu and Kashmir's special status under Article 370 of the Constitution. The Act came into effect on Thursday.
A division bench of justices M Sathyanarayanan and N Seshasayee said the petitioner was not a resident of Jammu and Kashmir.
"...If at all any person is aggrieved by the abrogation (of Jammu and Kashmir's special status) and enactment (of J-K Reorganisation Act), (it) could be the person who is a permanent resident of the then State of Jammu and Kashmir," the bench said.
It said the issue is before the Supreme Court and pending consideration before a Constitution bench.
"In the light of the reasons assigned above, this court is inclined to uphold the objections raised by the Registry as to the territorial jurisdiction of this court to entertain this writ petition," the bench said, dismissing the plea.
According to the petitioner, Desiya Makkal Sakthi Katchi (DMSK), a Tamil Nadu-based group, the Union legislature cannot legislate on those matters in the Union List and the Concurrent List which are not in accordance with subjects in the Instrument of Accession of Jammu and Kashmir.
The petitioner submitted that the government has abrogated Articles 370 and 35A by way of a presidential order and also enacted the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, 2019, without the approval of the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly.
"The consultation of the state government is required in any matter that affects the state," the DMSK said.
The petitioner had also expressed apprehension that what has happened in Jammu and Kashmir may also happen in Tamil Nadu in future.
Observing that assumptions cannot be answered, the bench had, in the last hearing, reserved its order on the maintainability of the plea.
The Supreme Court has fixed November 14 to commence hearing of a batch of pleas challenging the constitutional validity of the Centre's decision.

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First Published: Oct 31 2019 | 6:00 PM IST

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