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Indian SC Grapples with Central Government’s Article 370 Claims in Ongoing Legal Battle


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Byline: Azadi Times – Only Independent News Source of J&K: In a pivotal juncture in the relentless legal struggle revolving around the annulment of Article 370, the Central Government, on the 13th day of hearings, presented its case before the Supreme Court.

The government’s arguments sought to shed light on the developmental activities initiated in Jammu and Kashmir since the contentious move on August 5, 2019.

Representing the Central Government, the Solicitor General of India, Tushar Mehta, delivered a powerful presentation, spotlighting the positive transformations witnessed in the region.

Mehta revealed a remarkable statistic: in 2022, an astounding 1.88 crores of tourists graced the region, symbolizing a remarkable resurgence in the tourism sector, which serves as a vital economic lifeline.

He went on to state, “Many new industries are also making their way to Jammu Kashmir,” hinting at diversification efforts to bolster the local economy.

Mehta emphasized that effective governance extends beyond mere law enforcement. He disclosed, “Out of 53 projects under the Prime Minister’s development package, valued at 58477 crores, a significant 32 have already been successfully completed.” These projects are envisioned to fortify infrastructure and catalyze economic growth in the region.

Also Read: https://azaditimes.com/azad-kashmir-daily/civil-society-to-protest-against-governments-failure-to-construct-bridges/

Regarding the restoration of statehood, the Central Government refrained from providing a specific timeline but assured its preparedness for regional elections. Mehta affirmed, “The government stands ready for elections. The decision rests with the Election Commission of India and the Election Commission of Jammu Kashmir. Voter list updates are complete, and any pending work is actively underway.”

During the proceedings, Kapil Sibal, representing the petitioners challenging the Article 370 abrogation, passionately sought recognition from the judges regarding the development-centric facts presented. He passionately argued, “This is relevant from our standpoint. Your Lordships have previously stated that subsequent facts should be taken into account.”

Responding to the Central Government’s assertion that there were no shutdowns in the Kashmir valley post Article 370’s abrogation, Advocate Sibal countered the claim. He asserted, “When you have 5,000 people under house arrest and a blanket curfew affecting 144 throughout the state, there can be no bandh! My plea is to refrain from entering this arena, as we would have to counter it with an array of facts.”

In response, the Chief Justice of India reminded all parties involved that the developmental activities cited by the Government may not be directly germane to the constitutional challenge at hand. The Court underscored the imperative of addressing the constitutional challenge autonomously.

As the legal confrontation unfolds in the Supreme Court, the future of Jammu and Kashmir remains a topic of intense scrutiny and passionate debate. The region’s development, statehood restoration, and electoral prospects continue to dominate the discourse in this high-stakes legal contest.

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