On Thursday, when the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, 2019 took effect, the Madras High Court (HC) dismissed a petition filed before it challenging the constitutionality of the Act.
The petition was filed by a political party Desiya Makkal Sakthi Katchi, through its President M.L. Ravi had asserted that the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, 2019 should be declared unconstitutional as the Parliament does not have the legislative competence to reorganise Jammu and Kashmir without a Constitutional amendment and without the concurrence of the State legislature.
The Bench of Justices M. Sathyanarayanan and N. Seshasayee had reserved orders on the maintainability of this petition on October 22. On Thursday, the Bench dismissed the plea, while upholding the Court Registry’s objection that the petition was not maintainable before the Madras High Court because of territorial jurisdiction.
The Court also observed that the petitioner, not being a resident of Jammu and Kashmir, could not claim to be an aggrieved party. Further, the Court also stated that similar challenges are already pending before the Supreme Court of India. Therefore, the Court dismissed the petition.
The Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, 2019 bifurcates the State of Jammu and Kashmir into two Union Territories. The Presidential order of August 5, which eventually led to the abrogation of Article 370 of the Constitution of India (which had until then granted special autonomy to Jammu and Kashmir in certain respects), which paved way for the introduction of the 2019 Reorganisation Act.
The Act came into effect on Thursday, thereby bifurcating the State of Jammu and Kashmir into two Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh.
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