Article 370: SC Leaves Unanswered Questions on Federalism-Justice Ravindra Bhat

Justice Ravindra Bhat

Retired Supreme Court judge Justice S Ravindra Bhat said that the Supreme Court’s judgment upholding the abrogation of Article 370 of the Constitution did not address a crucial issue concerning federalism. He was speaking at the ‘Courts and the Constitution Conference’ organized by NALSAR University of Law in Hyderabad.

In December 2023, the Supreme Court upheld the Central government’s decision to abrogate Article 370, granting special status to Jammu and Kashmir. However, it refrained from ruling on the validity of a law bifurcating Jammu and Kashmir into two union territories. Instead, it accepted the Solicitor General of India Tushar Mehta’s assurance that Jammu and Kashmir’s status as a Union Territory was temporary and that statehood would be restored soon. Review petitions against this judgment are pending before the Supreme Court.

Justice Bhat also discussed other significant verdicts, including those on demonetization, electoral bonds, and the appointment of election commissioners. He emphasized the need for courts to revisit norms to ensure the Constitution remains responsive, efficient, and relevant in the 21st century.

While he refrained from commenting on the Supreme Court’s decision in the case of Supriya Chakraborty and anr v. Union of India, which refused to recognize same-sex couples’ right to marry, Justice Bhat called for reflection on the societal changes brought about by generative Artificial Intelligence.

In conclusion, Justice Bhat urged society to collectively adapt norms to address the challenges posed by technology and AI, emphasizing the need for thoughtful consideration in navigating these changes.

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-Ashish Kumar Sinha -Editor Legally Speaking -Ram Nath Goenka awardee - 14 Years of Experience in Media - Covering Courts Since 2008