5-judge constitution bench to begin hearing Article 370 pleas today

A five-judge Constitution bench led by Justice N V Ramana, which will hear pleas challenging the August 5-6 nullification of Article 370 stripping Jammu and Kashmir of its special status from Tuesday, will also take up individual petitions on alleged restrictions imposed in the Valley and lack of access to basic facilities.

A special bench led by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi said it had no time to hear the cases since it was busy with another Constitution bench matter. A CJI-led bench has been hearing the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid title dispute suit on a daily basis for more than a month now.

The newly constituted bench is scheduled to start hearing the batch of petitions on J&K from October 1. CJI Gogoi said petitions challenging restrictions on the media would also be taken up by the bench headed by Justice Ramana on Tuesday itself.

The Centre on August 5 moved to end special status to Jammu and Kashmir and bifurcated the region into two union territories. A day later, Parliament passed the changes in the form Jammu and Kashmir Reorganization Act, 2019.


Meanwhile, the CJI on Monday disposed of Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (MDMK) general secretary Vaiko’s habeas corpus petition seeking the release of former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Farooq Abdullah who was on September 16 detained under Jammu and Kashmir Public Safety Act, that enables detention without trial up to two years.

Solicitor general Tushar Mehta urged the court to even dispose of CPI (Marxist) leader Sitaram Yechury’s petition against the alleged detention of his party colleague MY Tarigami.