The Supreme Court reinitiated its proceedings on the petitions regarding ting the modification of Article 370 of the Indian Constitution on 8 August, which resulted in the removal of the special status of the former state of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K). Sibal was representing National Conference MP Mohammad Akbar Lone and Hussain Masoodi.The Constitution Board was composed of Chief Justice DY Chandrachud, and Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul, Sanjiv Khanna and BR Surya Kant.
During the third day of hearings in the Supreme Court, Senior Advocate Kapil Sibal addressed the five-judge Constitution Board led by Chief Justice DY Chandrachud, highlighting that the Constitution should not be exploited because of political parties. He pointed out that the principles should not be twisted to serve political agendas. He stressed that misusing the Constitution for political gain is against the proper interpretation of the constitution.
Senior Advocate Sibal asserted that “Article 356 should not be employed to enact lasting changes in the constitutional framework of the Indian constitution, especially regarding its application to Jammu and Kashmir. He continued stated that the imposition of President’s rule was intended to reinstate democracy rather than weaken it”.
While presenting his arguments, “Sibal mentioned a speech by Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah, the first Prime Minister of Jammu and Kashmir. Chief Justice Chandrachud interrupted Sibal recognizing his forward-looking perspective of Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah from 1951, which continues to hold significance in the present time. He persisted with his arguments that the altering constitutional bond within Article 370 is not valid through a unilateral executive decision”. Sibal pointed about “the independent executive action that was taken by the Indian government, indicating that the choice to revoke Article 370 was driven by political motives. He also indicated that the comprehensive removal of the article should be perceived as a political decision and described this action as a violation of the Constitution”.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta clarified that currently, around 1200 laws are applicable to the residents of Jammu and Kashmir, and numerous welfare schemes are also accessible to them. Sibal raised concerns about the opinions of the people who were considered before the reclassification of state as a Union Territory, without proper consultations. He stressed the importance of applying constitutional principles for an important transformation, which came out due to the exercise of “majoritarian power”.
Sibal by concluding his arguments urged the court to avoid silence, cautioning about potential consequences. He named this as a significant event for India’s future and expressed optimism that the court would not stay passive. The hearing reached no resolution and was scheduled to resume on Wednesday.