Article 370 helped terrorists, separatists: Govt tells SC

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New Delhi (NVI): Justifying its decision to withdraw special status of Jammu and Kashmir, the Centre has told the Supreme Court that the relevant Article 370 was “impeding rather than enabling” as it helped terrorists and separatists.

“The militants and separatist elements, with the support of foreign forces inimical to India, were taking advantage of the situation and sowing discord, discontent and even secessionist feelings among the populace of the State,” The Union Government in a counter affidavit in the Supreme Court said.

Notably, the Supreme Court in early October had fixed November 14 as the date of hearing on a batch of petitions, challenging the constitutional validity of discontinuing of Article 370 which granted special status to erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir.

The counter affidavit filed by the Ministry of Home Affairs also said the existence of Article 370 for over seven decades “having been conceived to be merely a temporary provision, prevented the people of the state of Jammu and Kashmir to receive the benefits of evolving legal systems as even the amendment of the Constitution of India and other law of the Parliament were not applicable to the said State creating a separatist mindset”.

The government while justifying its decision to abrogate special status granted to J&K under Article 370 said the decision was in the “national interest” and in the “interest of the security and integrity of the country”.

The government in its affidavit also said that these constitutional decisions were effectuated strictly in accordance with the requirements of the Constitution of India.