SC refuses to refer Article 370 matter to larger seven-judge Bench:

[3/2, 12:20] Sekarreporter 1: SC refuses to refer Article 370 matter to larger seven-judge Bench: https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/sc-refuses-to-refer-article-370-matter-to-larger-seven-judge-bench/article30961396.ece
[3/2, 12:20] Sekarreporter 1: Five-judge Constitution Bench led by Justice N.V. Ramana said it would continue to hear the case on merits
A five-judge Constitution Bench led by Justice N.V. Ramana on Monday declined a plea to refer to a larger Bench petitions challenging the abrogation of special status of Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370 of the Constitution.
The Bench said it would continue to hear the case on merits.
[3/2, 12:20] Sekarreporter 1: When one of the lawyers for the petitioners sought an early date to resume the hearing, it said a date would be fixed after considering the dates for the nine-judge Sabarimala Bench.
The Bench had heard arguments and reserved its decision on whether there was a “direct conflict” between two judgments, one of 1959 and the other 1970, about the nature and extent of Article 370.
The President’s notification on August 5 abrogated the special status of Jammu and Kashmir by blunting Article 370, which sources the privileges accorded to the erstwhile State in accordance with the assurances which was made in the Instrument of Accession signed between the Jammu and Kashmir ruler and the Government of India.
‘No conflict between judgments’
However, Justice Ramana, who pronounced the judgment for the Bench, concluded that there was no conflict between the 1959 and 1970 judgments on Article 370.
The 1959 judgment, Prem Nath Kaul versus State of Jammu and Kashmir, had indicated that Article 370 was applicable only till the Jammu and Kashmir Constitution was enacted on January 26, 1957. After that, no further changes could be made to the relationship between India and Jammu and Kashmir.
But the judgment reported in 1970, Sampath Prakash versus State of Jammu and Kashmir, ignored the 1959 verdict and concluded that Article 370 was permanent in nature and a “perennial source of power” for the Centre to govern its relationship with Jammu and Kashmir .
Senior advocate Dinesh Dwivedi, seconded by senior advocate Rajeev Dhavan, had argued that Justice Ramana’s Bench was the third five-judge Bench examining a case concerning the use of Article 370. The petitions should be referred to a larger Bench, they had urged.
The Constitution Bench had asked pertinent questions during the hearing, including who was the “competent authority” to bring the extinct Constituent Assembly of Jammu and Kashmir back to life.
The Jammu and Kashmir State Constituent Assembly had ceased to exist in January 1957 with the coming of the Jammu and Kashmir Constitution. Before it disbanded in 1957, the Constituent Assembly did not take a decision in favour of abrogation of Article 370 — the constitutional provision which is the fountainhead for the special status and privileges granted to Jammu and Kashmir in accordance with the Instrument of Accession.

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