Home Minister Amit Shah on Monday proposed a new bill on reorganisation of Jammu and Kashmir. Supreme Court lawyer Aman Hingorani spoke to CNBC-TV18 about the development.
“According to me, it is open to challenge since in my view it’s constitutionally impermissible now that we don’t have a State Constitutional Assembly. So, let us wait and see how the government proposes to go ahead with this. Of course, you must draw a distinction between Article 370 and Article 35A. Article 370 itself, which qualifies the terms of expression, whether that itself can be abrogated is open to debate.”
“The grievance most people have with Article 370, those who are wanting to honour Article 370 is that it has been diluted to such an extent that even without this present gazette notification virtually the entire Constitution of India is anyways applicable to the state. It has been applied to the state through the regimes in the state. So that does not really change much on the ground. The interesting part is that they have tried to replace the State Constituent Assembly to be the State Assembly.”
Talking about the inactive constituent assembly, Radha Kumar, former Kashmir Interlocutor said, “Our constituent assembly too has not been in existence since the constitution was passed and adapted – that does not necessarily mean that you cannot make changes to the constitution but the procedure for making changes to the constitution is very clear, the legislature has to decide it.”
“In this case, there are 2 legislatures that are involved. You absolutely cannot do it under governor’s rule – that’s one, but second, I am afraid that we know already, we know from the political parties of whichever variety they are that they are all opposed to any such change, in fact, they have been warning about the intention of our government to bring about such changes for more than a few weeks now,” she added.
“The governor just 10 days ago said no such thing is planned and now suddenly you produce it like a rabbit out of a hat. We know, we understand perfectly well that this was the intention for sending 28,000 more troops into the valley. Is this a way the democracy proceeds. I have never seen anything more disgraceful,” Kumar added.