SC puts off hearing on Kashmir special status

The Supreme Court on Friday bowed to the Centre’s wish to postpone hearing on the legality of Article 35A, giving special status to the State of Jammu and Kashmir, till the panchayat elections in the State are over in order to avoid law and order problems. Appearing before a Bench led by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra, Attorney-General K.K. Venugopal, for the Centre, said proceeding with the case now would affect peace in the State. “The issue is so sensitive…Large companies of paramilitary forces are moving towards the election areas. Law and order may go out of hand…Let the elections first get over in December,” Mr. Venugopal submitted to the Bench, also comprising Justices A.M. Khanwilkar and D.Y. Chandrachud. “We do not want to precipitate things when the elections are due,” Justice Chandrachud observed as the petitioners objected to the government’s request to postpone. Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, for Jammu and Kashmir, submitted that hearing the case at this point would be a threat to peace. The Bench scheduled the petitions for the second week of January next year.

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