Congress says it disagrees with SC judgement on the manner in which Article 370 was abrogated

New Delhi, Dec 11 , The Congress said on Monday that it respectfully disagrees with the Supreme Court judgment on the manner in which Article 370 was abrogated and reiterated that the Congress Working Committee’s (CWC) resolution that Article 370 deserved to be honoured until it was amended strictly in accordance with the Constitution.

The Congress also said that it was disappointed that the Supreme Court did not decide the question of dismembering the state and reducing its status to two Union Territories and that the question has been reserved for adjudication in a suitable case in the future.

Addressing a press conference at the party headquarters here, Congress leader P. Chidambaram said, “The judgement of the Supreme Court in the cases concerning the abrogation of Article 370 of the Constitution has decided many issues but has left open some issues that are also vitally important. It has also held as ultra vires the manner in which Art 367 was invoked to amend part of Article 370.”

He said hence the judgement needs careful study as it is a 476-page judgement, which was uploaded about half an hour ago.

“Prima facie, we respectfully disagree with the judgement on the manner in which Article 370 was abrogated. We reiterate the CWC resolution dated August 6, 2019 that Article 370 deserved to be honoured until it was amended strictly in accordance with the Constitution of India,” the former Union minister said.

He said that we are also disappointed that the Supreme Court did not decide the question of dismembering the state and reducing its status to two Union Territories. That question has been reserved for adjudication in a suitable case in the future.

“The Congress has always demanded the restoration of full statehood for what has become the Union Territory of J&K. We welcome the Supreme Court’s verdict in this regard. Full statehood must be restored immediately. The aspirations of the people of Ladakh must also be fulfilled,” Chidambaram said.

He said that the Congress welcomes the Supreme Court’s direction to hold assembly elections.

“However, we believe that the elections should be held immediately and there is no reason to wait until September 30,” he said.

Chidambaram said that when elections are held, the people of Jammu and Kashmir will have an opportunity to express their views on the crucial questions that were debated in the Supreme Court — an opportunity that has been denied to them so far.

He pointed out that since accession, Jammu and Kashmir was — and is — an integral part of India.

“The people of Jammu and Kashmir are Indian citizens. We reiterate our resolve to work for the security, peace, development and progress of Jammu and Kashmir,” Chidambaram said.

On a question that the provision itself is temporary, what is your opinion, Chidambaram said: “That’s correct, the court has held that the provision was temporary. I don’t think, there was any debate that the provision was temporary. The debate at that time was whether the temporary provision can be removed except in accordance with the Constitution.”

His remarks came after the Supreme Court’s Constitution bench on Monday upheld the abrogation of Article 370 of the Constitution while announcing its judgment on a series of petitions challenging the abrogation of Article 370 and the division of Jammu and Kashmir into two Union territories.

The five-judge bench also ordered the Election Commission to hold elections in Jammu and Kashmir by September 30, 2024.

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