Indian SC asks Modi govt for timeframe to restore special status of occupied Kashmir

India’s Supreme Court has inquired of the Narendra Modi-led government whether there exists a “timeframe” and a “roadmap of progression” for reinstating the special status of Jammu and Kashmir, according to reports from Indian media on Tuesday.

The query was made by a five-member bench led by Chief Justice of India (CJI) D.Y. Chandrachud during a hearing involving a series of petitions challenging the revision of Article 370 of the Indian constitution, which conferred special status upon India-administered Jammu and Kashmir.

This change permitted individuals from other parts of the country to have the right to acquire property in the region and settle there permanently.

Critics of India’s Hindu nationalist-led government, along with Kashmiris and international organizations, considered this move an effort to alter the demographic composition of Muslim-majority Kashmir by introducing Hindu settlers.

During today’s hearing, Chief Justice Chandrachud, as quoted by The Indian Express, asked Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, representing the Indian government and the administration of Jammu and Kashmir: “We comprehend that these are matters of national security… the preservation of the nation itself is the paramount concern. Without placing you in a predicament, you and the attorney general may seek instructions at the highest level— is there a timeframe in view? Is there a roadmap?”

Mehta discussed the reorganization of states in his arguments and apprised the bench of decisions taken regarding Jammu and Kashmir after the modifications to Article 370.

The Chief Justice also questioned whether the Indian parliament should be allowed to transform a state into a union territory temporarily due to national security requirements.

He stated, “Should we not permit parliament to postulate that for a certain period, in the interest of the preservation of the nation itself, we want for a certain period that this particular state shall go in the fold of a union territory — with the clear understanding that this shall revert back to a state

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