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TRACING THE CONTOURS OF THE SUTLEJ-YAMUNA LINK CANAL DISPUTE

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TRACING THE CONTOURS OF THE SUTLEJ-YAMUNA LINK CANAL DISPUTE
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The Sutlej-Yamuna Link (hereinafter “SYL” for brevity) Canal dispute has a long, complicated and sensitive history, with the genesis of the dispute being traced to the formation of the State of Haryana when it was carved out of the State of Punjab in 1966. The SYL Canal is a 214 km long canal devised for the purpose of sharing of the waters of rivers Ravi and Beas between Haryana and Punjab. A brief history would put the context of the discussion in proper order. It was erstwhile Prime Minister Indira Gandhi who, on 08th April, 1982, launched the construction of the SYL Canal with a ground-breaking ceremony in the Kapoori village in Patiala district. In the stretch of 214 km that was to be constructed, 122 km was to be constructed in Punjab while 92 km was to be constructed in Haryana. However, soon thereafter, agitations, in the form of ‘Kapoori Morcha’ across Punjab broke out against the construction of the SYL Canal. The agitations were being spearheaded by the Akalis. In July of 1985, the erstwhile Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi and the erstwhile Akali Dal chief Sant Harchand Singh Longowal signed the “Settlement Accord” whereby they agreed for a new tribunal to assess the availability and sharing of water. Thereafter, the ‘Eradi Tribunal’ is formed under the leadership of Justice V Balakrishna Eradi. In less than a month after the signing of the “Settlement Accord”, Longowal is killed by militants.

Before moving ahead, it would be apt to summarily recap the water-sharing allocations. The Central government, a decade after reorganisation, issued a notification allocating 3.5 MAF (Million Acre Feet) out of the 7.2 MAF that was originally allocated to undivided Punjab back in 1955. Pursuant to the 1981 reassessment, it was assessed that the water flowing down from rivers Ravi and Beas was 17.17 MAF of which 4.22 MAF was allocated to Punjab, 3.5 to Haryana, and 8.6 MAF to Rajasthan. Now, fast-forward to 1987, the Eradi Tribunal recommended an increase in the water-sharing allocation of Punjab and Haryana to 5 MAF and 3.83 MAF, respectively.

In 1990, the engineers and executives who were involved in the construction of the Canal were killed by militants bringing the construction of the project to a halt. Owing to the tense state of affairs, the Punjab political leaders cautioned the Centre against raking up the issue of the SYL Canal again given the sensitive nature of the issue. However, in 1996, the Haryana government moved the Supreme Court to issue directions to the Punjab government to finish the SYL Canal construction work, which resulted in a long and convoluted litigation.

In 2002 and 2004, the Supreme Court directed the Punjab government to complete the SYL Canal construction work that is pending within its territory. In 2004, the Punjab government passed the Punjab Termination of Agreement Act, 2004, whereby it terminated the water-sharing agreements and consequently jeopardised the construction of the SYL Canal in Punjab. In 2016, the Supreme Court ordered that status quo should be maintained on the SYL Canal, consequent to an application filed by the Haryana Government alleging that attempts have been made to alter its use by levelling it. Additionally, the Court observed that an effort was being made to circumvent the execution of the decree of the Court. The application filed by the State of Haryana had also mentioned the Punjab SYL Canal (Rehabilitation and Re-vesting of Proprietary) Bill, 2016, was passed by the Punjab Assembly which was meant to undo the effects of the Supreme Court’s earlier verdict, wherein it held in favour of the unhindered construction of the SYL Canal which would enable the sharing of its water with Haryana.

Thereafter, later in 2016, the Supreme Court unanimously held that the Punjab Termination of Agreement Act, 2004, which terminated the SYL Canal water sharing agreement with the State of Haryana and other neighbouring States as unconstitutional. The Court observed that any unilateral termination of the 1981 water-sharing pact would be, keeping in view of the law laid down by the Supreme Court in the matter of State of Tamil Nadu v. State of Kerela & Anr., (Original Suit No. 3 of 2006), declared contrary to the Constitution of India as well as the provisions of the Inter-State Water Disputes Act, 1956.

Thereafter, in 2020, the Supreme Court directed the Chief Ministers of both States to negotiate and settle the SYL Canal dispute, and the same was to be mediated by the Centre. Punjab had demanded the constitution of a fresh tribunal to assess the water availability in the State, citing that the water levels have fallen down to 13.38 MAF from 17.17 MAF.

Presently, the inter-state water disputes are one of the most contentious issues concerning Indian federalism. Article 246 of the Constitution deals with the subject-matter of laws that are to be made by the Parliament and by the Legislatures of the States. The allocation of responsibilities between the Centre and States in respect of the laws to be made falls under the three lists enumerated in the Seventh Schedule of the Constitution of India. Entry 17 of the State List in the Seventh Schedule of the Constitution deals with the subject of water, that is, water supply, irrigation, canal, drainage, embankments, water storage and water power, however, this is subject to Entry 56 of the Union List in the Seventh Schedule. Entry 56 of the Union List in the Seventh Schedule of the Constitution empowers the Union government to regulate and develop inter-state rivers and river valleys to such an extent which is considered by Parliament to be expedient in the public interest.

Article 262 of the Constitution deals with the subject-matter of disputes relating to water. It states that Parliament may by law provide for the adjudication of any dispute or complaint with respect to the use, distribution or control of the waters of, or in, any inter-state river or river valley. It also provides that Parliament may by law provide that neither the Supreme Court nor any other court shall exercise jurisdiction in respect of any such dispute or complaint as mentioned in the aforementioned provision.

The resolution of water dispute is governed by the provisions of the Inter-State River Water Disputes Act, 1956. In Section 14 of the Inter-State River Water Disputes Act, 1956, it exclusively provides for the constitution of the Ravi and Beas Waters Tribunal; whereby the current dispute concerning the SYL Canal was also governed by it.

Now, equipped with the above exposition of the facts and circumstances, it would be appropriate to assess the situation. Given the sensitivity of the issue and the compelling political and other vested interests of various stakeholders, it has resulted in a situation where the political machinery which is otherwise competent is unable to take concrete and courageous solutions in order to pave the way forward, owing to apprehensions of backlash from the electorate and consequent political repercussions.

In such a situation, where there are massive stakes involved concerning the general public interest, it is expected that States would not be bogged down by myopic reasons centred around fealty to one’s own particular State at the detriment of other neighbouring States. The States, inclusive of the political machinery as well as the electorate, need to reflect on the value system that they want to inherit for their state polities for the future and consequently develop a matured response as to go about finding a mutually acceptable solution which also offers real and genuine reliefs to each other. The same is only possible when a matured polity is present which can be made possible by few courageous statesmen on either side so as to arrive at a solution with acceptable compromises and devising means to possibly evade the dreadful future that is being apprehended by the general populace. It is extraordinary statesmanship which fosters the circumstances allowing for bright and ingenious ideas to germinate, which may lead to better and innovative means of living.

It must be seriously considered that the right to water, for various needs and purposes, ranging from irrigation and farming activity requirements in the rural context to drinking water and sanitation in the urban context, is a basic human right which is also a fundamental right enshrined under Article 21 of the Constitution of India. There are various global instruments and international covenants which recognise right to water as a basic human right that is to be afforded to every human. The UN Charter and the United Declaration of Human Rights implicitly recognised the right to water as being components of the general quality standard of living that should be provided to every human being. The Geneva Conventions and Protocols explicitly recognises a right to water, however, the same is focused on drinking water. The 1966 Covenants (ICCPR and ICESCR) both implicitly recognise the right to water. The Declaration on the Right to Development also recognise right to clean water as fundamental human right. CEDAW and the Convention on the Rights of the Child also recognise the right to water as basic human rights. In this light, it is heartening to note the recent observations of the Supreme Court on the issue of the SYL Canal dispute, wherein Justice Kaul, heading a three-judge Bench, addressing both Punjab and Haryana, said that, “Water is a natural resource and living beings must learn to share it, whether it be individuals, States or countries…There is a shortage. But if you look at it only from the point of view of the State, then somebody will look at it from the point of view of the city…Then what will happen? I know there are sensitive issues in the State (Punjab), but some calls have to be taken. In the larger interest of the country, you have to sit down and work it out. It cannot be left as a festering wound. Water is a natural wealth to be shared. How it has to be shared is a mechanism to be worked out. We expect parties to work out a way to share the national wealth”.

Therefore, keeping in mind the above considerations, it is pertinent to acknowledge the fact that while the stakes in the SYL Canal dispute are high and it is also a sensitive issue which may be influencing the political leaders to act in favour of the vested interests of their own States in exclusion to the reasonable accommodation of the rights of the neighbouring countries but it is far more important that these serious issues merit a response which goes beyond myopic reasons and interests, so as to protect the larger public interest at stake. In case the political machinery fails to devise a mutually acceptable solution, then the Supreme Court will have to step in and function as the final arbiter of the dispute given the magnitude of rights at stake. It would also be prudent to note that in case it ultimately falls to the Supreme Court to finally decide the dispute, then it must also be cautious of the composition of the Bench that would be constituted to decide on the matter including the composition of any expert committee of technocrats and experts that may be formed to aid the Supreme Court, so as to avoid any unnecessary speculations on the impartiality of the decision, the sentiment of which is best echoed by the age-old aphorism that, “Justice must not only be done, but must also be seen to be done”.

The author is a lawyer and tweets @j_bhoosreddy99.

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Legally Speaking

CESTAT: Registration Of Premises Not A Necessary Prerequisite For Claiming A Refund Under Cenvat Credit Rules, 2004

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CESTAT: Registration Of Premises Not A Necessary Prerequisite For Claiming A Refund Under Cenvat Credit Rules, 2004

The Delhi Bench of the Customs, Excise and Service Tax Appellate Tribunal (CESTAT) in the case M/s. Selling Simplified India Private Limited Versus Commissioner of CGST, East Delhims observed and has held that the registration of premises is a necessary prerequisite for claiming a refund under Rule 5 of the Cenvat Credit Rules, 2004.
The bench comprising of Judicial Member, Rachna Gupta observed and has stated that the service providers are entitled to a refund under rule 5 of the Cenvat Credit Rules, 2004 when the output service is exported.
In the present case, the appellant is engaged in rendering taxable services of business support to the following group companies, i.e., Selling Simplified Group, Selling Simplified Inc, Selling Simplified Ltd., U.K. and three of the companies are located outside of India. It is availed by the appellant that the Cenvat credit for input services used to render the said output service as they are paying service tax on such input services. Thus, on 22.12.2016, the appellant filed a refund claim for Rs.9,97,364 under Notification No.27/2012-CE(NT) dated 18.06.2012, issued under Rule 5 of the Cenvat Credit Rules, 2004, along with several documents.
It was observed by the department that the appellant had centralised service tax registration for the premises but had claimed some input service credit for the services utilised at the unregistered premises. Some of the export invoices were also raised from the unregistered premises. However, with these observations, the department formed the opinion that the appellants should get registration for their Noida premises also. A ‘Show Cause Notice’ was issued by the department proposing the rejection of the refund claim.
It was contended by the appellant that the export invoices were issued by the appellant from an address that is not part of the centralised registration. Further, the address mentioned in the invoices is Noida; hence, the Commissionerate does not have jurisdiction to decide the refund. The group of companies and the appellant to whom the Appellant had provided business support services are simply the establishments of a single individual.
It was held by the CESTAT that the show cause notice is a foundation on which the department has to build its case and it should be specific and contain all relevant details so that an assessee will be able to give a reply to specific allegations made in the show cause notice. As since the issue of jurisdiction was not specifically taken in the show cause notice, the adjudication on this point against the assessee is not sustainable. Since, the appellant admittedly has centralised registration in terms of subclause (2) and (3) of Rule 4, and the Noida unit was not required to be registered.

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Supreme Court: No Bar To Withdraw Admitted CIRP Application Before Constitution Of Committee Of Creditors-IBC

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Supreme court

The Supreme Court in the case Ashok G. Rajani vs Beacon Trusteeship Ltd. Observed and stated that there is no bar to withdrawal of an admitted CIRP application before constitution of Committee of Creditors.
The bench comprising of Justice Indira Banerjee and JK Maheshwari observed and has stated that the settlement cannot be stifled before the constitution of the Committee of Creditors in anticipation of claims from third persons, against the Corporate Debtor.
It was observed by the court while dismissing the appeal against NCLAT order which gave the parties the opportunity to settle their disputes before the Adjudicating Authority (NCLT) in terms of Section 12A of the IBC reading with Rule 11 of the National Company Law Tribunal Rules, 2016 (NCLT Rules).
Further, the bench noted that Section 12A of the IBC enables the Adjudicating Authority to allow the withdrawal of an application admitted under Section 7 or Section 9 or Section 10, on an application made by the applicant with the approval of 90% voting shares of the Committee of Creditors in such a manner as it is specified.
The court stated that Section 12A of the IBC clearly permits withdrawal of an application under Section 7 of the IBC that has been admitted on an application made by the applicant. Thus, the question of approval of the Committee of Creditors by the requisite percentage of votes, can only arise after the Committee of Creditors is constituted. In our view, before the Committee of Creditors is constituted, there is no bar to withdrawal by the applicant of an application admitted under Section 7 of the IBC.
Further, the court noted that Rule 11 of the NCLT Rules enables the NCLT to pass orders for the ends of justice including order permitting an applicant for CIRP to withdraw its application and to enable a corporate body to carry on business with ease and should be free of any impediment.
While dismissing the petition, the court stated that considering the investments made by the Corporate Debtor and considering the number of people dependant on the Corporate Debtor for their survival and livelihood, there being no reason why the applicant for the CIRP, should not be allowed to withdraw its application as once its disputes have been settled. However, the settlement cannot be shifted before the constitution of the Committee of Creditors in anticipation of claims against the Corporate Debtor from third persons. Thus, the withdrawal of an application for CIRP by the applicant would not prevent any other financial creditor from taking recourse to a proceeding under IBC and the urgency to abide by the timelines for completion of the resolution process cannot be stated as a reason to stifle the settlement.

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Senior Advocate Mukul Rohatgi Declines To Be The Next Attorney General For India

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Mukul Rohatgi declines govt’s offer to become Attorney General

The Senior Advocate Mukul Rohatgi has declined to be the next Attorney General for India. The offer made by the Central Government in that regard is turned out by him.
On September 30, the term of the incumbent Attorney General for India KK Venugopal is ending. However, there were reports that Rohatgi was going to take the AG’s mantle after Venugopal.
In June 2017, Rohatgi had earlier resigned as the Attorney General after serving for three years. Venugopal was appointed as the AG for a term of three years after Rohatgi and he was given one year extension each in 2020 and 2021. This year on June 29, AG Venugopal’s term was extended by three more months by the Union Government. Thus, there were reports that Venugopal had requested the Government to not further extend his tenure citing health problems, and the Government requested him to continue for three more months.

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Legally Speaking

Hijab–Fight for rights or religion..?

Adv. Manjunath Kakkalameli

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Hijab–Fight for rights or religion..?

Hijab controversy took grounds in Karnataka after the Udupi College issued guidelines for the academic year in July 2021 prescribing a uniform dress code.
In September six students (who later became the lead petitioners in the Karnataka High Court) complained of discrimination by teachers against them on religious grounds. By December, their complaint had taken the form of protest that drew intervention of entire country. The very Primary and important issue under consideration of Supreme Court is whether Hijab is a fundamental right or mere a religious practice.
As of now, a settle law position says that even though right to religion is covered under Art. 25 of the constitution and art 19- Right to Speech and 21- Personal Liberty of the constitution but can it be excluded or included in under ‘Reasonable Restriction’ of the fundamental rights. However, to consider any religious practice under Art 25 of the Constitution must fall within the ambit of ‘Essential Religious Practice”.
Before we get into the issue lets see what the Holy Quran Say on Hijab-

How does the Quran address the issue of Hijab-
Term Hijab is reiterated seven times in the Quran referring each time exactly to the same means Curtain, Separation, mask but the verse that has been most often used to prove the obligation of veiling for women and mentions the term Hijab is as under-
“ O you who have been believed, do not enter the houses of the prophet except when you are permitted to meal…. And when you ask (his wives) for something, ask then from behind a separation (Hijab) Quran 33;53.
As it indicates here, the Hijab concerns only the wives of the prophet and meets a circumstantial requirement in order to respect the private life of Prophet. Besides, it does not represent, in anyway, a particular model of clothing.
It is therefore, quite clear that the term Hijab does not absolutely refer to the meaning given nowadays. Hence it could be ascertain that Hijab is not an essential in Islam.

IS HIJAB ESSENTIAL IN ISLAM?
Before considering the issue, it is pertinent to know whether Hijab fall under essential right in Islam or not?
Many Islam Scholar would say that Head Cover is mandate in Quran however while answering the same Karnataka High Court referring ingredients of Article 25 of the constitution concludes that Hijab is not essential part of Islam. Art 25 of the Constitution guarantees a person the freedom of conscience and the right to freely profess, practice, and propagate her religion. But this fundamental right is subject to public order, morality and health. This is not an absolute right.

UNIFORM VS FUNDAMENTAL RIGHT-
School Uniforms are form of secular democracy, it demonstrate secular and homogeneous in the Schools and colleges therefore achieves constitutional secularism. Therefore Fundamental rights cannot be claimed against School Uniforms. Therefore, The Karnataka High Court ruled, “We are of the considered opinion that the prescription of the school uniform is only a reasonable restriction constitutionally permissible, which the students cannot object to.”

Judicial Review – Essential Religious Practice
The hon’ble Supreme Court and High Courts have ample time interpreted the law regarding religious beliefs and practice of religion, however, every time the courts might have opined in different way but all the opinions are based on same foundation called “ Essential Religious Practice The Hon’ble Supreme Court first discussed the concept of ‘Essential Religious Practice’ in the case of Commissioner, Hindu Religious Endowments, Madras v. Shri Lakshmidar Thirtha Swamiyar of Shri Shirur Mutt AIR 1954 SC 282. In the said case, the Supreme Court distinguished ‘secular practices’ from ‘religious practices’ and held that the latter alone is protected by article 25 of the Constitution. The ‘religious practice’ must be essential to the religion itself.
The Supreme Court further elaborated that the Essential part of a religion means the core beliefs upon which a religion is founded. Essential practice, in a religion, means those practices that are fundamental. It is on these essential practices that the superstructure of the religion is built on without which any religion will be no religion. The test to determine whether a part or practice is essential to a religion is to find out whether the nature of the religion will be changed without that practice. If the taking away of that part or practice could result in a fundamental change in the character of that religion or in its belief, then such part could be treated as an essential or integral part.
In order to understand whether the practice of wearing a Hijab satisfies the test of Essential Religious Practice, it is important to further study the judicial developments in this regard.
In the case of Javed and Ors. v/s State of Haryana and Ors. (2003) 8 SCC 369, a challenge was laid to the Haryana Panchayati Raj Act disqualifying anyone with more than 2 living children from holding specified offices in the Panchayat. The Petitioner, a Muslim by faith, submitted, amongst other grounds, that his personal laws permitted him performance of marriages with up to 4 women for the purpose of procreating children and restriction thereof would violate Art 25 of the Constitution of India. The Hon’ble Supreme Court held that such a protection can be claimed only if the same forms an Essential Religious Practice. The Hon’ble Court further held that what is permitted or prohibited does not become a positive tenet of a religion and that a practice does not acquire sanction simply because it is permitted. The Hon’ble Court concluded by holding that the same can be regulated or prohibited by Legislation in the interest of public order, morality, and health.
In the case of Khursheed Ahmed Khan v/s State of UP and Ors. (2015) 8 SCC 439 the Supreme Court affirmed the principle propounded in the Javed Ali case (supra.). In the instant case, the Petitioner challenged the UP Government Servants’ Service Conduct Rules, 1956 that provided for removal of government servants for proven misconduct of contracting another marriage during the subsistence of an already existing one. The challenge to the rule by the Petitioner was that it was permissible for Muslims to enter into marriage with 4 women and as such the said service rules violated his Fundamental Rights under Article 25 of the Constitution of India. The Hon’ble Supreme Court while referring to a plethora of judgements including the Javed Case (supra.), negatived the plea and held that Art 25 was subject to public order, morality, and health and further went on to hold that polygamy was not an integral part of the religion and monogamy was a reform within the powers of the State under Art 25 of the Constitution of India. Holding so, the Hon’ble Court dismissed the Petition and upheld the service rule
To conclude with the issue of Hijab will have to undergo the test of ‘Essential Practice of Religion’. And in such case I feel the issue has very little chances of recognizing Hijab as ‘Essential religious Practice’ and if the petitioners fail to convince the court, it would then, remain as religious practice but not essential religious practice.

(Author is columnist and practicing advocate at Bombay High Court)

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Allahabad High Court Quashes POSCO Case: If Husband/Accused Is Convicted Then Victim/Wife’s Future Would Be Ruined

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Allahabad High Court Quashes POSCO Case: If Husband/Accused Is Convicted Then Victim/Wife’s Future Would Be Ruined

The Allahabad High Court recently in the case Rajiv Kumar v. State of U.P. And 2 Others observed and has recently quashed an FIR and criminal proceedings in a POCSO case registered against a man as it noted that the accused man and victim-wife (who was a minor at the time of the incident) married the accused/ applicant out of her own sweet will and is living a happy married life with him.
The bench comprising of Justice Manju Rani Chauhan observed that to punish punish the offenders for a crime, involved in the present case, is in the interest of society, but, at the same time, the husband is taking care of his wife and in case, the husband is sentenced and convicted for societal interest, then, the wife will be in great trouble and it would ruin their future. Thus, it is also in the interest of society to settle and resettle the family for their welfare, the bench quashed the rape-POCSO case against the accused.

Facts of the Case:
The Maternal Uncle of the Victim lodged an FIR against the accused under Sections 363, 366, and Section 376 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860and Section 3/4 of the POCSO Act, alleging that the accused had raped the victim (then a 17-year-old minor).
Further, the accused moved the instant Section 482 CrPC petition seeking to quash the instant FIR. Also, the victim appeared before the Court and had submitted that her maternal uncle had lodged the FIR in an attempt to ruin her married life.
It was further stated by her that she has entered into a compromise with the accused and has married him out of her free will, and consent, and without any external pressure, coercion, or threat of any kind. Before the court, it was also submitted that that out of their wedlock, they are blessed with a male child, who is presently four and half years old and as per her date of birth and at the time of marriage she was nearly 17 and half years old.
It was submitted by the Applicant-Accused that on account of the compromise entered into between the parties concerned, all disputes between them have come to an end, and therefore, further proceedings are liable to be quashed in the present case.

Observations Made By Court:
In the present case, the court noted that though the offence under the relevant sections 363, 366 and 376 of IPC and Sections 3/4 of POCSO Act are not compoundable under Section 320 Cr.P.C, however, adding to it, the court stated that the power of the High Court under Section 482 Cr.P.C is not inhibited by the provisions of Section 320 Cr.P.C and the criminal proceedings as well as the FIR can be quashed by exercising inherent powers under provision of Section 482 Cr.P.C, if warranted in given facts and circumstances of the case for ends of justice or to prevent abuse of the process of any Court, even including the cases which are not compoundable where parties have settled the matter between themselves.
The court while considering the facts and circumstances of the case, and also the submissions made by the counsel for the parties, the court came to the considered opinion that the victim herself, has stated before this Court that out of her own sweet will, she has married the applicant and is living a happy married life and out of their wedlock, the couple are blessed with a male child. However, no useful purpose shall be served by prolonging the proceedings of the criminal case as the parties have already settled their disputes.
Accordingly, the court quashed the charge sheet and the cognizance order as well as the entire proceedings of the Criminal Case were hereby quashed. Thus, the application was allowed.

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SC likely to hear next month pleas related to Article 370

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SC to hear Manoj Tiwari’s plea on firecracker

A Supreme Court constitution bench is expected to hear a slew of petitions related to Article 370 of the Constitution, which granted Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) semi-autonomous status before it was repealed in August 2019. Chief Justice of India (CJI) Uday Umesh Lalit said on Friday that the petitions will be heard after the Dussehra holiday.

When senior advocate Prashanth Sen asked the CJI to list the matter, Justice Lalit responded, “We will certainly list that…it will be listed after Dussehra break.” From October 3 to 10, the court will be closed for Dussehra.

The petitions were last heard in March 2020, when a five-judge panel declined to refer the case to a larger panel. The reference was requested because previous court decisions on the subject were in conflict with one another. This contention was rejected by the bench.

At the time, the bench was aware of an older batch of petitions pending in the Supreme Court challenging the constitutionality of Articles 370 and 35A, which granted J&K special status. It was stated that all issues concerning Article 370 should preferably be heard together.

National Conference legislators, former bureaucrats, and some organisations are among those who have objected to the repeal of Article 370. Some petitioners cited the Supreme Court’s 2018 decision, which stated that Article 370 had gained permanent status.

Many petitions have also been filed against the Jammu and Kashmir State Reorganization Act, which calls for the division of J&K into two Union Territories.

Despite opposition from the central government, which argued that Article 370 had international and cross-border implications, the Supreme Court issued notices on the petitions on August 28, 2019. The Centre also claimed that it is a highly sensitive issue, and that whatever happens in the country will be brought up at the United Nations. While issuing notices in 2019, the court referred the case to the five-judge constitution bench.

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