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Jammu KashmirSC asks Akbar Lone to file affidavit owing allegiance to Constitution

SC asks Akbar Lone to file affidavit owing allegiance to Constitution

Date:

Srinagar, Sep 4: The Supreme Court on Monday asked Conference Lok Sabha member Muhammad Akbar Lone, one of the petitioners in Article 370 case, to swear his allegiance to the Constitution of in writing.

On the 15th day of hearing in the Article 370 case, the Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud today asked Lok Sabha member Muhammad Akbar Lone to file an affidavit that he owes allegiance to the Constitution of India and that J&K is an integral part of India.

Lone, a member parliament from Baramulla segment had challenged abrogation of Article and reorganization of & into two Union Territories in 2019. The case is currently being heard by a five-judge constitution bench. He is represented by senior Supreme Court lawyer, Kapil Sibal in the case.

At the outset of hearing, Bimal Jad, representing Roots in Kashmir, drew attention of the Apex Court towards an affidavit filed by him, saying that Lone has raised “Pakistan Zindabad” slogan at many forums and Legislative Assembly

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Government of India in the Article 370 case, said that Lone should file an affidavit that he owes allegiance to the Constitution of India and opposes terrorism and secessionism.

“He should file an affidavit that I owe allegiance to the Constitution of India because “I am before the highest court of the country”. And he must say that I strongly oppose terrorism and secessionism in Jammu & Kashmir,” Mehta submitted before the five-judge constitution bench.

He submitted that efforts of the nation to bring in normalcy which is substantially successful might be affected.

In 2018, Lone, then a sitting MLA, shouted pro-Pakistan slogans in the Legislative Assembly after BJP MLAs shouted anti-Pakistan slogans.

Earlier, Senior advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for Lone, told a five-judge bench headed by Chief Justice DY Chandrachud that the sovereignty of India was never under challenge.

Sibal said Lone and other petitioners challenging the Centre's decision have always maintained that Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of India.

“We cannot make this case into an emotive majoritarian interpretation of the Constitution. If we look at history, Jammu and Kashmir is not completely linked to India. The erstwhile state had a separate detailed Constitution, administrative and executive structure. It was never asked to sign a merger agreement,” Sibal said.

He told the bench, also comprising Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul, Sanjiv Khanna, BR Gavai and Surya Kant, that when Article 370 says that ‘concurrence' of the state government with respect to certain subjects is required; it means the executive can also say ‘no'.

The CJI told Sibal, advancing rejoinder arguments, that the Indian Constitution does not specify what would happen after the Constitution of Jammu and Kashmir comes into force.

Sibal reiterated his argument that Article 370 acquired a permanent character once the term of the constituent assembly of Jammu and Kashmir got over in 1957 after drafting the state's Constitution.

“We should interpret the Constitution textually and contextually, but not by looking at what there is in silence,” he said.

Sibal said dilution of Article 370 is a political process and it must have a “political solution”.

“So, you are saying there is no solution for dilution of Article 370 within the Constitution and that a political solution has to be found. We have to keep in mind that all solutions have to be within the framework of the Constitution,” CJI Chandrachud told Sibal.

Sibal's submissions remained inconclusive and will continue on Tuesday.

 

Northlines
Northlines
The Northlines is an independent source on the Web for news, facts and figures relating to Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh and its neighbourhood.

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