Published On: Tue, Aug 29th, 2023

J&K’s statehood will be restored, tells Centre to SC

New Delhi: The Centre informed the Supreme Court on Tuesday that Jammu and Kashmir’s union territory status is not a permanent thing and that it will present a detailed statement on the contentious political issue in the court on August 31. Union Territory status of Ladakh to continue for some time, Centre tells SC bench hearing petitions against abrogation of Article 370.

The union territory status of Jammu and Kashmir is not a lasting thing

The central government’s answer was communicated to the court by Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, after a five-judge constitution bench led by Chief Justice DY Chandrachud, who was listening to the pleas against the scrapping of Article 370, asked it to define a time frame for restoring electoral democracy in the former state.

“The union territory status of Jammu and Kashmir is not a lasting thing. As for Ladakh, its UT status will continue for some time,” Mehta said. The top government law officer said he will give a detailed statement on the future of the union territory status of J-K and Ladakh before the bench, which also includes Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul, Sanjiv Khanna, BR Gavai and Surya Kant, on August 31.

The bench, which was listening to Mehta’s arguments supporting the Centre’s decision to scrap the special status of the old state and its reorganisation, said, “Democracy is important, though we agree that in view of the national security situation, reorganisation of the state can be done.”

The court, however, said absence of electoral democracy cannot be allowed to go on forever. “This has to end… Give us the specific time frame as to when will you bring back actual democracy. We want to record this,” the bench said, and asked Mehta and Attorney General R Venkataramani to seek instructions from the political executive and get back to the court.

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