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SC refers pleas against abrogation of Art 370 to Constitution bench, says they will be listed in Oct

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Press Trust of India New Delhi
The Supreme Court on Wednesday referred a batch of petitions challenging the changes in Jammu and Kashmir's constitutional status by abrogating provisions of Article 370 to a five-judge Constitution bench.
The apex court, which said the petitions will be listed for hearing in the first week of October, also issued notices to the Centre and the Jammu and Kashmir administration on the batch of pleas challenging the presidential order abrogating Article 370 of the Constitution.
A bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi did not agree with the Centre that there was no need for issuing notices in the matter as Attorney General K K Venugopal and Solicitor General Tushar Mehta were marking their presence in the court.
"We will refer the matter to a five-judge Constitution bench," said the bench while not accepting the argument that the notices would have a "cross-border repercussion".
The bench also comprised Justices S A Bobde and S A Nazeer.
The attorney general said whatever was being said by the court was sent before the United Nations (UN).
As the counsel appearing for both sides were involved in arguments and counter-arguments, the bench said, "We know what to do, we have passed the order, we are not going to change."

The first petition challenging the presidential order scrapping Article 370 was filed by advocate M L Sharma, who was later joined by another lawyer from Jammu and Kashmir, Shakir Shabir.
National Conference (NC), a prominent political party from Jammu and Kashmir, filed a petition on August 10, contending that the changes brought in the status of the state had taken away the rights of its citizens without their mandate.
Arguing that the legislation approved by Parliament and the orders issued by the president subsequently were "unconstitutional", the petition asked for those to be declared "void and inoperative".
The petition was filed by NC's Lok Sabha MPs Mohammad AKbar Lone and Justice (retd) Hasnain Masoodi.
Lone is a former speaker of the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly and Masoodi a retired judge of the Jammu and Kashmir High Court. In 2015, he ruled that Article 370 was a permanent feature of the Constitution.
There are other petitions challenging the Centre's decision to abrogate Article 370, including a plea filed by a group of former defence officers and bureaucrats, who have also sought directions declaring the presidential orders of August 5 "unconstitutional, void and inoperative".
The plea was filed by professor Radha Kumar, a former member of the Home Ministry's Group of Interlocutors for Jammu and Kashmir (2010-11), former IAS officer of Jammu and Kashmir cadre Hindal Haidar Tyabji, Air Vice Marshal (retd) Kapil Kak, Major General (retd) Ashok Kumar Mehta, former Punjab-cadre IAS officer Amitabha Pande and former Kerala-cadre IAS officer Gopal Pillai, who retired as the Union home secretary in 2011.
A petition has also been filed by bureaucrat-turned-politician Shah Faesal, along with his party colleague and former Jawaharlal Nehru University Students' Union (JNUSU) leader Shehla Rashid.
There are other petitions challenging the Centre's decision on Article 370.

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First Published: Aug 28 2019 | 1:40 PM IST

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