When will you restore statehood to Jammu and Kashmir?: Supreme Court questions Centre

In a significant development today, on the 12th day of the hearing on the petition for abrogation of Article 370, the Supreme Court asked the Centre to provide a timeline or guidelines for granting statehood to Jammu and Kashmir, which is divided into Union Territories.

A bench comprising CJI DY Chandrachud and Justices SK Kaul, Sanjeev Khanna, BR Gavai and Suryakant issued this important notice to the central government.

Responding before the Supreme Court bench, Solicitor General (SG) Tushar Mehta, representing the Union government, referred to Union Home Minister Amit Shah’s statement in Parliament while introducing the bill in 2019 that the statehood of Jammu & Kashmir would be restored in due course. He said that the union territory status is not permanent.

In this case, the Chief Justice asked about the time and asked when the election will be held. Meanwhile, the Solicitor General said that the process of restoring the status of the state is already in progress.

During the arguments, the CJI observed whether the Centre could convert the state into a central government controlled state for a temporary period.

The Solicitor General reiterated that the government is committed to the restoration of the state as per the statement in Parliament. The Chief Justice acknowledged the national security concerns and also emphasized the importance of restoring democracy in the region.

A bench headed by Chief Justice of India (CJI) DY Chandrachud is hearing the petitions challenging the abrogation of Article 370, which granted special powers to Jammu and Kashmir. The erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir was bifurcated into two Union Territories in 2019.

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