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On Thursday, the Madras High Court dismissed a petition filed by a Tamil Nadu-based group, Desiya Makkal Sakthi Katchi (DMSK) through its President M.L. Ravi challenging the constitutional validity of the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, 2019, which bifurcated the state into two Union Territories.

Court had reserved its order on the maintainability of the petition on 22/10/2019.

The division bench of Justice M Sathyanarayanan and Justice N Seshasayee while dismissing the petition, said:

“…If at all any person is aggrieved by the abrogation and enactment, could be the person who is a permanent resident of the then State of Jammu and Kashmir.”

It was contended that, the Union legislature cannot legislate on those matters as given in the Union List and the Concurrent List which are not in accordance with subjects in the Instrument of Accession of Jammu and Kashmir.

The petitioner had further submitted that the government has abrogated Article 370 and Article 35A by way of a Presidential order and enacted the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, 2019, without the approval of the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly. All these events are nothing but a threat to other States. That what has happened to Jammu and Kashmir may also happen to Tamil Nadu in future.

The Bench refused to answer the petitioner’s apprehensions as the petition was found unmaintainable. While dismissing the petition, court viewed, “this court is inclined to uphold the objections raised by the Registry as to the territorial jurisdiction of this court to entertain this writ petition.”

The Bench also said that the present issue is currently pending before the Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court for consideration. The hearing is slated to commence from 14th November 2019.

— India Legal Bureau

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