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SC directs Election Commission to hold polls in Jammu and Kashmir by September 2024

The top court has ruled that the decision to abrogate provisions of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir was valid.

SC directs Election Commission to hold polls in Jammu and Kashmir by September 2024

File Photo: Supreme Court

The Supreme Court on Monday directed the Election Commission of India to conduct elections to the Legislative Assembly of Jammu and Kashmir by 30 September 2024.

The directions were given to Election Commission in the top court’s judgment on pleas challenging the constitutional validity of Centre’s decision to abrogate provisions of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir and split the erstwhile state into two Union territories.

“We direct that steps shall be taken by the Election Commission of India to conduct elections to the Legislative Assembly of Jammu and Kashmir by 30 September 2024,” Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud said, while reading judgement in Article 370 matter.

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Pronouncing the verdict, CJI Chandrachud said that the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir does not have internal sovereignty different from other states of the country and that “all provisions of the Indian Constitution can be applied to J&K.”

“We hold the exercise of presidential power to issue constitutional order abrogating Article 370 of Constitution as valid,” the CJI said.

The Supreme Court acknowledged the Centre’s submission on the restoration of statehood of Jammu and Kashmir and directed that statehood shall take place as soon as possible.

The top court also upheld the constitutional validity of the decision to carve out the union territory of Ladakh from Jammu and Kashmir in August 2019.

The Narendra Modi government had on August 5, 2019 revoked the special status of Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370 and split the erstwhile state into two Union Territories – Jammu and Kashmir with a constituent assembly and Ladakh.

The government had stated that the status of Jammu and Kashmir as Union Territory was a temporary arrangement and that the full statehood of the region will be restored in due course.

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