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Historic Decision by SC, Scrapping of Special status (Article 370) held valid, Directs EC to hold polls before Sep 2024, Asks Centre to restore Statehood at an earliest.

The Supreme Court upheld the President’s authority to amend Article 370 for Jammu and Kashmir without the Constituent Assembly’s recommendation. The 5-judge bench, led by Chief Justice DY Chandrachud, deemed the presidential power to abrogate Article 370 as valid, stating that the special conditions ceased when the Constituent Assembly of J&K dissolved.

The court mandated the swift restoration of statehood in the Union Territory of J&K, directing the Election Commission to organize Assembly elections by September 30, 2024. It asserted that it couldn’t challenge the President’s decision on Article 370’s special circumstances.

Highlighting the constitutional integration process, the Chief Justice emphasized that the application of all provisions of the Indian Constitution to Jammu and Kashmir was legitimate. The court deemed the use of Presidential power for CO 273 as not mala fide, affirming its validity.

Addressing Article 370 as a temporary provision due to wartime conditions, the court clarified that Jammu and Kashmir lacked internal sovereignty distinct from other states. It underscored the state’s integration into India, evident in Articles 1 and 370 of the Indian Constitution.

The Supreme Court refrained from ruling on the validity of the December 2018 Presidential rule in Jammu and Kashmir, citing that it wasn’t explicitly challenged by the petitioners. The court reasoned that not every action under Article 356 could be contested when it comes into force.

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