NEW DELHI, Nov 11 - The Centre justified in the Supreme Court on Monday the abrogation of provisions of Article 370 of the Constitution, which gave special status to Jammu and Kashmir, saying the militants and separatist elements, with the support of foreign forces inimical to India, were taking advantage of the situation.
A five-judge bench of Justice N V Ramana, Justice S K Kaul, Justice R Subhash Reddy, Justice B R Gavai and Justice Surya Kant is scheduled to take up for hearing a batch of petitions challenging abrogation of provisions of Article 370 and Article 35A on November 14.
In its reply to the batch of petitions, the Centre said that Article 370, in its original form, was constitutionally described as a temporary provision with respect to Jammu and Kashmir, formed a part of the Constitution of India as adopted by the Constituent Assembly on November 26, 1949.
The Centre's affidavit said it was observed over the years that the existing regime under Article 370 of the Constitution, and the exceptions/modifications carried out to other provisions of the Constitution of India by Presidential Orders issued under Article 370(1)(d), were impeding, rather than enabling or facilitating, the full integration of the erstwhile State of Jammu and Kashmir with the rest of the country which was neither in the national interest nor in the interest of the State of Jammu and Kashmir.
"The militants and separatist elements, with the support of foreign forces inimical to India, were taking advantage of the situation and sowing discord, discontent and even secessionist feelings among the populace of the State," the affidavit said.
It said, "What is more, the residents of the erstwhile State were also being denied all the benefits of the rights guaranteed by the Constitution of India to all other citizens of the country." � PTI