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Supreme Court hears 77th and 103rd Amendment extension to J&K

Ziraat Times News Network

New Delhi, 30 Sept:  The Supreme Court today heard a Writ Petition filed by the Vice President of Awami National Conference Muzaffar Shah in 2019 challenging the extension of 77th
and 103rd Constitutional Amendments to Jammu & Kashmir.

The 77th Amendment provides for
reservation in promotions and public appointments to the members of Schedule Caste and
Schedule Tribes while 103rd Amendment relates to reservation for the member of Economically
Weaker Sections.

Mr Shah was represented by former union minister and Senior Advocate of Supreme
Court Salman Khurshid assisted by former Dy. Advocate General, J&K Suhail Malik. In its Petition before the Supreme Court, Shah had challenged the extension of Amendments by the
President of India on the ground that the same is in violation of Article 370 (1) (b) (ii) as it stood then in March, 2019 and also the 2017 law laid down by the Supreme Court in Krishna Kumar’s case which said that an ordinance must be promulgated when “immediate action” is required as
contemplated under Article 123 of the Constitution. Shah is his petition said that a constitutional
authority cannot do indirectly what it is not permitted to do directly. If there is a constitutional
provision inhibiting the constitutional authority from doing an act, such provision cannot be
allowed to be defeated by adoption of any subterfuge. That would clearly be a fraud on the
constitution. After hearing the arguments by Khurshid, the bench of Justice D.Y. Chandrachud
and Hima Kohli said that they will hear the matter in detail immediately after the other petitions
challenging abrogation of Article 370 are heard post Dussehra. The issue is quite contentious as this petition challenges a decision which was taken before Article 370 was repealed.

This case may
also have a direct consequence on the J&K Reservation Amendment Act, 2019 whereby the
benefit of reservation was extended to people living near international border. Earlier, the same
was restricted to backwards areas and people living near line of actual control. Addressing media persons, Mr Shah said that the President could not have passed these orders because in 2019 there was
no legislative assembly and concurrence of the then Governor Satya Pal Malik to the promulgation
cannot be treated as the concurrence of the people of J&K. We will be aggressively contesting
other petitions challenging abrogation of Article 370 which are coming up after Dussehra, Shah
said.

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