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Article 370—5 Top Submissions by Senior Counsel Kapil Sibal
‘Article 370 was a ‘compact’ between J&K and India’

August 10, 2023

New Delhi, 10 August: Senior Advocate Kapil Sibal completed his arguments before a constitutional bench headed by Chief Justice of India D. Y. Chandrachud. In his submission, Sibal said that there was no constitutional process available to scrap Article 370.

NewsnViews picks Sibal’s top 5 arguments that the senior advocate presented before the 5-member bench:

1. The provision (Article 370) had attained a “permanent character” after 1957 when the Jammu and Kashmir Constituent Assembly was dissolved, leaving Article 370 unchanged.

2. The abrogation of Article 370 was a political act. There was nothing within the constitutional structure that empowered the President or the Parliament to abrogate Article 370.

3. Article 370 was not the Basic Structure of the Indian Constitution, but a “compact” entered into between two sovereigns [the princely State of Jammu and Kashmir and the Government of India] and engrafted in the Indian Constitution.

4. Unlike the case in some other princely States, the Indian government did not take over Jammu and Kashmir… You [the government] want to take over J&K, you could have done it as a political act, but how do you do it from within a constitutional structure?

5. Having taken the position that we need the consent of the Constituent Assembly to abrogate Article 370, why and how did the President and the Parliament abruptly change tack in 2019? “What happened to this residuary power of the State to decide its own fate?” Mr. Sibal argued.

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