Should Constitution be amended to make Article 370 permanent

Syllabus: Parliament and State legislatures—structure, functioning, conduct of business, powers & privileges and issues arising out of these.

Why in NEWS

Petitioners’ counsel Kapil Sibal argues that Parliament and the Union government diluted Article 370 ‘unilaterally’; the relationship between the Union government and the State of Jammu and Kashmir was ‘purely federal’

People’s will

  • Parliament and the Union government had diluted Article 370 “unilaterally”, without making an effort to understand the will of the people of Jammu and Kashmir.
  • When you want to sever such a special relationship with Jammu and Kashmir, you had to ultimately seek the opinion of the people.
  • The will of the people was central to this decision. It should have been a political decision… What happened in Brexit? There was no constitutional provision for a referendum. Yet, they asked for public opinion

Public opinion

  • In a constitutional democracy, seeking the opinions of the people should be through established institutions. Any recourse to public opinion has to be sought through the established institutions.
  • You cannot envisage a Brexit-type referendum.
  • That was a political decision taken by the then government in the U.K. But within a Constitution like ours, there is no question of a referendum.

The consent of the State and its people had been necessary for diluting Article 370.

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