Not Every Centre’s Decision Can Be Challenged, Says Chief Justice
New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday refused to rule on the validity of President’s Rule in Jammu and
The Supreme Court on Monday refused to rule on the validity of President’s Rule in Jammu and Kashmir – imposed in December 2018 – since it had not been specifically challenged by petitioners arguing against the scrapping of special status, under Article 370, to the former state.
“… every decision (taken by) the Centre on behalf of State under Article 356 (imposition of President’s Rule) cannot be challenge. When proclamation under Article 356 is implemented, countless decisions are taken by the Centre… not every decision can be challenged. If challenges are allowed, it would lead to chaos,” Chief Justice DY Chandrachud, heading a five-judge bench, said.
Jammu and Kashmir came under President’s Rule on December 19, 2018, for an initial period of six months. This was after a political crisis in June that year precipitated by the BJP withdrawing support to then ruling People’s Democratic Party government led by ex-Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti.
On August 5, 2019, the centre scrapped Jammu and Kashmir’s semi-autonomous position and special status under Article 370 and revoked statehood. Since then, no Assembly election has been held.
Today, in the face of multiple challenges, the court upheld the centre’s August 2019 decision and ruled it “valid”, calling it a temporary provision to ease the former state’s 1947 merger with India.
In line with its understanding of the August 2019 move as “temporary”, the court also directed the centre to restore statehood to Jammu and Kashmir as soon as possible.
The Election Commission has been told to conduct an Assembly election by September 30, 2024.
In June this year, Jammu and Kashmir completed five years under control of the central government – the second-longest period of President’s Rule in the country since Independence.