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Business News/ News / Article 370: Ready for elections in Jammu & Kashmir ‘anytime’, Centre tells SC

Article 370: Ready for elections in Jammu & Kashmir ‘anytime’, Centre tells SC

Central government ready for elections in Jammu and Kashmir, three elections due, statehood status restoration timeline unclear, decrease in terrorist instances, stone pelting, and security personnel casualties. Supreme Court notes J&K bifurcation not unique.

Supreme Court of India. (PTI)Premium
Supreme Court of India. (PTI)

The Solicitor General Tushar Mehta on 31 August has said that the Central government is ready for elections at any time in Jammu and Kashmir. 

"Till date updating of the voters list was going on- which is substantially over. Some part is remaining- that the Election Commission is doing, SG Tushar Mehta as quoted by Live Law.

He further informed that there are three elections that are due. “For the first time, the three tier panchayat raj system is introduced. First elections would be for panchayats. District development council elections have already taken place," Mehta as reported by Live Law.

The solicitor general also informed that elections for Ladakh Hill Development Council, Leh were over and the polls in Kargil will be held next month.

The Centre also told the top court that it is unable to give specific timeline for restoring the Statehood status of Jammu and Kashmir but clarified that Union Territory status is a temporary.

Developments are taking place for it to become a complete State, Centres said 

It further informed the Centre that terrorist instances have reduced by 45.2 percent compared from 2018 to 2023 and infiltration reduced by 90 percent. "Law and order issues like stone pelting etc. reduced by 97%, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta said. Moreover, he also informed that security personnel casualty is reduced in J&K by 65 percent, stone pelting instances in 2018 were 1,767 which is nil now and the organized bandhs in 2018 were 52 and is now at nil. 

Earlier on 20 August, the top court on the twelfth day of hearing petitions challenging the abrogation of Article 370 in 2019 granting special status to Jammu and Kashmir noted that the reorganisation of the state was not ‘one of a kind’ as was pointed out by Solicitor General Tushar Mehta.

The five judge bench of the Supreme Court comprising Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud, Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul, Sanjiv Khanna, BR Gavai, and Surya Kant noted that the case of Jammu and Kashmir bifurcation was no different than other Indian states that have undergone the same.

SG Mehta had said that Jammu and Kashmir situation was ‘one of a kind’ and it would not happen again. Justice Kaul opposed this statement by conceding that several other Indian states had also been bifurcated or reorganised.

"It's not one of its kind situation. We have seen the northern border Punjab- very difficult times. Similarly, some states in North East...I understood your argument that these border states are their own category. But how do you distinguish between Jammu and Kashmir with any other border states?" LiveLaw report quoted the Supreme Court judge. Prior to this on Tuesday, the Centre had told Supreme Court that the'Union territory' status of Jammu and Kashmir was ‘not permanant’. The CJI and the apex court sought a ‘roadmap’ to restoring electoral democracy in the region of Jammu and Kashmir.

(More details awaited)

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Published: 31 Aug 2023, 10:58 AM IST
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