India: Top court calls in responses for Kashmir case

NEW DELHI

The Supreme Court of India on Tuesday granted the government four weeks to legally respond to petitions challenging the revocation of the special status of Jammu and Kashmir, according to media reports.

Petitioners, in turn, were given one week to lodge their own response to the government’s reply, with the court to next hear the matter on Nov. 14.

The government wants to file a response each for all 10 petitions, which all have their own grounds said New Delhi Television (NDTV).

The petitions filed at the apex court challenged the government order of Aug. 5 revoking the special status of Jammu and Kashmir.

One petition challenged the presidential order for the introduction of the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, which bifurcated the State of Jammu and Kashmir into two separate union territories — the territory of Jammu and Kashmir and territory of Ladakh.

Another contended that the order, which amended Article 367 of the Indian Constitution, was unconstitutional and void ab initio.

Retired military officers and bureaucrats have also filed a separate petition arguing that without ascertaining the will of the people either through its elected government or legislature or else through public means such as referenda, the Aug. 5 order could not have been passed.

Several other petitions were also filed by members of parliament, businessmen, artists, former jurists, political parties and residents of Jammu and Kashmir.
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