SC defers hearing on plea for directions to EC to conduct Assembly polls in J&K
A 5-judge constitution bench headed by CJI Chandrachud is scheduled to hear the batch of pleas challenging the abrogation of Article 370 on July 11.
The Supreme Court on Thursday deferred hearing on a petition seeking directions to the Election Commission to conduct elections to the Assembly of Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir without any further delay.
"We will adjourn this.The (Article) 370 matter is listed for directions on July 11," said a bench, headed by Chief Justice D.Y. Chandrachud and comprising Justices P.S. Narasimha and Manoj Misra.
As counsel appearing for leaders of the Jammu and Kashmir National Panthers Party (JKNPP) said: “This is a different case. We have been disenfranchised”, the bench said: “These matters are linked, they're similar. Why don't you give a copy to the Centre?”
Adjourning the matter, the bench refused to issue immediate notice on the plea.
A 5-judge constitution bench headed by CJI Chandrachud is scheduled to hear the batch of pleas challenging abrogation of the Article 370 on July 11.
The plea, filed by JKNPP leaders Manju Singh and Harsh Dev Singh, had alleged that the Election Commission is aiding the Centre's ruling party by giving it the longest possible rope to restore its goodwill in Jammu and Kashmir after abrogation of Article 370.
The state Assembly was dissolved in November 2018 after the then Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti tendered her resignation. In the petition, it has been stated that the Election Commission's failure to conduct elections to the Assembly, when all the active political parties in J&K except BJP favoured immediate restoration of democratic elected government, proceeded with parliamentary elections was an action replete with arbitrariness, dereliction of constitutional duties and enabled the party in power at the Centre to continue to govern J&K via proxy rule.
The petition stated that the Supreme Court on several occasions has ruled that Assembly elections must be held within six months in all those States/UTs where Assemblies are prematurely dissolved to ensure that people are not deprived of their due representation.
The Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, 2019 provided that the UT of Jammu and Kashmir will have a legislature with an elected legislative Assembly and a Chief Minister, while Ladakh will be a UT without legislature.
However, the Assembly elections have not been held in J&K for the last four years, the plea said.
Harsh Dev Singh, a former J&K minister, alleged that Assembly elections continue to be denied in Jammu and Kashmir on “flimsy” grounds and people's government in the Union Territory must be revived immediately.
The plea prays for directions from the apex court to the Election Commission for taking steps to hold elections to the Legislative Assembly of Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir without further delay.