India Top Court Agrees to Examine Scrapping of Kashmir Autonomy
(Bloomberg) -- India’s Supreme Court has agreed to examine the constitutional validity of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s decision to scrap Kashmir’s autonomy but refused to immediately lift an unprecedented state-wide lockdown on communications and movement.
The court’s three-judge panel headed by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi said a constitution bench comprising five judges will review the legality of abrogating Article 370 of Indian constitution that granted Kashmir special status in the first week of October. Petitions on the lockdown will be heard after seven days.
India’s government on Aug. 5 scrapped Kashmir’s autonomy, bringing the country’s only Muslim-majority region under direct federal government administration. The government has maintained that its communications blackout and restrictions on movement will be lifted in phases as situation improves and urged the court to not intervene.
The top court brushed aside Attorney General K.K. Venugopal and Solicitor General Tushar Mehta’s objections to hearing the case. Mehta said “other countries could take advantage” of court’s order to examine the legality of the government’s decision.
“It has to be heard by a five judge bench,” Gogoi said.
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