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Ominously anti-federal

  • Published
    12th Dec, 2023

Context:

As per the critics of the recent verdict on upholding the removal of Jammu and Kashmir’s special status and its downgrading, the Supreme Court of India has imperilled the Rights of States and weakened the limits on the Union’s power.

Judicial Deference and Federal Principles

  • Supreme Court's Article 370 verdict: The judgment in favour endorses the 2019 move on Jammu and Kashmir's special status.
  • Judicial Interpretations: Alarming interpretation allows irreversible actions under President's Rule, challenging constitutional procedures and federal principles.
  • Threating Rights of locals: The Court's endorsement of government actions neglects historical context, potentially harming State rights and constitutional features.

Complex Process

  • Government intervention: Government's multi-step process in 2019 aimed at removing J&K's special status and dividing it into Union Territories.
  • Apex Court’s view: Court finds parts of the August 5 order unconstitutional but validates consequential notification, creating a peculiar legal outcome.
  • Constitutional morality: Court argues for incremental application of the Indian Constitution, ignoring historical obligations and promises made during integration.

Threats

  • Federalism and complexity: Court's failure to address the constitutionality of J&K's reorganization into two Union Territories is a glaring example of judicial evasion.
  • New Legal orders: Upholding Ladakh's separation sets a precedent for creating new Union Territories out of parts of any State.
  • Executives’ hold: Court's stance on unlimited President's power under President's Rule poses a significant threat to State powers and democratic processes.
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