IIOJK in focus

Detaining thousands of people in J&K mockery of democracy, Kapil Sibal tells Indian top court

New Delhi: Advocate Kapil Sibal, representing petitioners challenging the abrogation of Article 370 of the Indian Constitution that accorded special status to occupied Jammu and Kashmir, has said that detaining thousands of people in J&K is mockery of democracy.

He said this while giving his arguments in the Indian Supreme Court against the abrogation of Article 370 as a a five-judge Constitution Bench comprising Chief Justice of India (CJI) DY Chandrachud and Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul, Sanjiv Khanna, BR Gavai and Surya Kant hears the pleas on a day-to-day basis.

Advocate Kapil Sibal said, “If you have 5,000 people in house arrest and with section 144 imposed there cannot be any bandh, so let us not get into this.

The petitions challenge a presidential order, revoking the special status, dated August 5, 2019.

During previous hearings, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta argued that any change in the Constitution that “brings everyone at par can never be faulted”.

Kapil Sibal said, 5000 were under house arrest. “Let us not make a mockery of democracy. Section 144 was imposed and the internet was shut off, This court has recognised all of this as well. People could not go to hospitals, even, let us not talk about bandhs.”

To which, Chief Justice of India Chandrachud said, “What he is saying is that the roadmap to full statehood will take some time. UT is not a permanent feature and there cannot be a timeline but these are the steps they are taking, but we know these facts cannot be an answer to the constitutional question.”

Kapil Sibal said, “Drugs issue that is plaguing J&K is enormous and there is an enormous rate of unemployment in the UT.”

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