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Judiciary

'J&K is an integral part of India,' SC asks lead petitioner in Art 370 to file affidavit

By LAWSTREET NEWS NETWORK      04 September, 2023 06:58 PM      0 Comments
'J&K is an integral part of India,' SC asks lead petitioner in Art 370 to file affidavit

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court was on Monday asked National Conference MP Mohd Akbar Lone and the lead petitioner in the challenge to abrogation of Article 370 of the Constitution, to file an affidavit that J&K is an integral part of India and he owed allegiance to the Constitution.

The court's response came after ir was told that Lone had supported  secessionism and even raised 'Pakistan Zindabad' slogan in J&K Assembly.

Lone, who allegedly shouted 'Pakistan zindabad' slogan in Jammu and Kashmir assembly, must file an affidavit owing allegiance to the Constitution and stating that he opposed terrorism and secessionism, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta contended before a five-judge bench led by Chief Justice of India D Y Chandrachud.

“He is not an ordinary man but he is a Member of Parliament," Mehta said.

'It is not enough that he expresses remorse. He must say that I oppose and object to terrorism and any secessionist activity by Pakistan in Jammu and Kashmir or elsewhere. It must come on record,” he added.

As he is the lead petitioner challenging the abrogation of Article 370, he should submit an affidavit owing allegiance to Indian Constitution, Mehta asserted.

Taking his submission into consideration, the bench, also comprising Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul, Sanjiv Khanna, B R Gavai, and Surya Kant, confronted senior advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for the petitioners, with the statement.

"When he (Lone) invokes the jurisdiction of our court under Article 32 of the Constitution, he necessarily abides by the Constitution," the bench told him.

Sibal said one cannot be a member of Lok Sabha without abiding by the Constitution of India and there is an oath he has taken.

"I am not concerned with what he had said in what circumstances, it is recorded. You ask him to file an affidavit. I am not standing for what he has said," Sibal said.

One counsel submitted that petitioner Lone had in 2018 shockingly said 'Pakistan Zindabad' in Assembly.

Mehta said, raising “Pakistan Zindabad” on the floor of the House “has its own seriousness” and the court must see who is contesting the claim of continuing Article 370.

Senior advocate Rakesh Dwivedi submitted Lone should apologise.

"He should file an affidavit saying that I owe allegiance to the Constitution of India……he must say that I strongly oppose terrorism and secessionism in Jammu and Kashmir,” Mehta said.


'Roots in Kashmir’, a prominent organization representing Kashmiri pandits, has claimed that Lone is a known supporter of secessionist forces operating in J&K and, in the past, has also shouted pro Pakistan slogans on the floor of the J&K Assembly.

Lone was a member of the legislative assembly from 2002 to 2018 and has shouted slogans like "Pakistan Zindabad' on the floor of the J&K Assembly," the intervention application alleged, referring to several media reports in support of their claim.

An intervention application was  filed by 'Roots in Kashmir', seeking to bring some additional documents and facts on record in the matter.

He not only admitted shouting the slogan but refused to tender an apology when asked by the journalists. While addressing the media, he hesitated to identify himself as an Indian. Similarly in his rallies also he is known for spreading pro-Pakistan sentiments, it claimed.



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