The Supreme Court Lets the People of J&K and the Constitution of India Down

Kashmir statement cpiml

11 December 2023

The Supreme Court, today, in upholding the abrogation of Article 370 and denying the special status of Jammu and #Kashmir has failed to hold the executive accountable for this egregious constitutional violation. Indeed, the Supreme Court has let down the Constitution and the faith that the people repose in it.

While #Article370 did not make J&K sovereign, it was instrumental in the accession of J&K to the Indian Union. The special constitutional safeguards granted to J&K under Article 370 were not just a matter of "asymmetric federalism", as claimed by the Supreme Court, but rooted in the specific history of the state's integration with India.

There are several other states in the Indian Union that continue to enjoy certain special provisions akin to Article 370 and the Supreme Court has unfortunately singled out J&K as a case of "asymmetric federalism" and in the name of correcting the apparent asymmetry has condoned the Union government's act of stripping J&K of its very statehood and reducing it to two Union Territories.

It has already been more than four years since the people of J&K lost their statehood and right to have representative democracy through an elected Assembly. It is unfortunate that the Supreme Court has evaded the question of constitutional (im)propriety of this act letting off the Union Government with its verbal assurance of restoration of statehood and holding of Assembly elections.

The suppression of the political opposition and fundamental rights in Kashmir valley has already become a template for denial of democracy across the country. The Supreme Court's endorsement of the Union government’s acts of omission and commission vis-a-vis J&K will now likely embolden the Modi government to further downgrade and subvert federalism in India.

-CPIML Central Committee