Decisions on J-K legally sound, says Centre

JAMMU: The Centre’s decisions on Jammu and Kashmir were taken after “thorough research” in accordance with constitutional provisions and can withstand any legal challenge, Union minister Jitendra Singh said on Sunday.
Defending the Centre’s decision to scrap special status of Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370 of the Constitution and divide the state into two union territories, Singh said, “Nothing happened overnight. The bill was prepared by knowledgeable persons after a thorough research of Article 370 and the Jammu and Kashmir Constitution.”
“Clause 3 of Article 370 empowers the President to declare any part of the provision inoperative totally or by exception anytime. It is in Jammu and Kashmir Constitution as well. Article 366 makes it clear that in the absence of Assembly, the governor is the legal authority,” he added. The Minister of State in the PMO was addressing a citizens’ meet at the BJP office here.
Since the government moves were effected earlier this month, several petitions have been filed in the Supreme Court challenging them.
Singh expressed confidence that the Centre’s decisions would withstand any legal challenge. “There will be no stay order…the move was worked out in accordance with the special provision and Jammu and Kashmir Constitution,” he said.
The Supreme Court had on Friday refrained from examining the legal challenges to the changes made in the constitutional status of J&K, saying the petitions filed on the “serious issue” suffered from defects.
He criticised the Congress and the Kashmir-centric parties for their opposition to the moves. The Congress and its allies such as the National Conference are rattled because the myth of Article 370 stands exposed, he said. (PTI)

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