The five-judge constitution bench of Justices SK Kaul, R Subhash Reddy, BR Gavai, Surya Kant and presided by Justice NV Ramana reserved the order for referring the case of Abrogation of Article 370 and bifurcating the state into Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh to the seven-judge bench.
The petitions were filed by the private individuals, lawyers, activists and political groups like National Conference, Jammu and Kashmir Peoples Conference and CPI(M). Lok Sabha MPs Mohammad Akbar Lone and Justice (retd) Hasnain Masoodi filed the petition on the behalf of National Conference.
Senior Advocates ZA Shah, Rajeev Dhavan, Chander Uday Singh, Gopal Sankaranarayanan, Dinesh Dwivedi, and Sanjay Parikh made submissions from the petitioners’ side. On the respondent’s side, Attorney General KK Venugopal and Solicitor General Tushar Mehta presented the contentions.
Attorney General while defending the government’s move to abrogate Article 370 said that the sovereignty of the state was never perpetual and India is, after all, a Union of States. He also countered the submissions of petitioners by stating that lack of holding of a plebiscite and the absence of a standstill agreement were not relevant as Jammu and Kashmir had explicitly admitted that it was an integral part of India. To support this, he mentioned Section 3 of the constitution of Jammu and Kashmir which states that “The State of Jammu and Kashmir is and shall be an integral part of the Union of India.”