Ready To Hold Elections In J&K: Centre To Supreme Court

The hearing on the petitions filed against the abolition of Article 370 from Jammu and Kashmir was held in the Supreme Court on Thursday for the 13th day.

On behalf of the Central Government, Solicitor General (SG) Tushar Mehta said – We are ready to conduct elections in Jammu and Kashmir anytime, but after the Panchayat and Municipal elections.

In the 12th day of hearing held on August 29, the Supreme Court had asked the Central Government as to when Jammu and Kashmir will be able to get statehood again.

On this, SG Mehta said- We cannot tell any definite time limit for this, but it is clear that the status of Union Territory is temporary.

In the last hearing, Mehta told the Supreme Court – Jammu and Kashmir has been temporarily divided into two Union Territories (Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh).

Ladakh will remain a Union Territory, but Jammu and Kashmir will soon be made a state again. He will give a positive statement in this regard on Thursday.

Supreme Court: When will the government restore statehood to Jammu and Kashmir?

SG Mehta: Elections in Jammu and Kashmir will be held after the Panchayat and Municipal Corporation elections. However, the Central Election Commission and the State Election Commission will decide which election should be done first. We cannot give any definite time frame for this, but we want to make it clear that the Union Territory status is temporary.

SG Mehta: Development is on to make Jammu and Kashmir a full state. SG Mehta, appearing for the government, told the court that there has been a 45.2% reduction in terrorist incidents and 90% reduction in infiltration as compared to 2018 to 2023. Law and order issues like stone pelting have come down by 97%. Casualties of security personnel have come down by 65%. In 2018, the incidents of stone pelting were 1,767, which are now zero in 5 years. Organized bandhs were 52 in 2018 and now it is zero.

Kapil Sibal: Is the court keeping this in mind while considering the validity of Article 370?

Supreme Court: On this, CJI Chandrachud clarified that the bench will settle the validity of the decision to remove Article 370 on constitutional grounds and facts related to elections or the state will not influence it.

Kapil Sibal: Kapil Sibal said that 5000 people are under house arrest and Section 144 is applicable in the entire state. So how can one be closed like this? Shouldn’t the court go into this area?

Supreme Court: On this the CJI said that we have asked the Center for a roadmap on elections. This is what they have given us, but we will decide on the constitutional issue.

Kapil Sibal: Sibal then said that these facts will go to the discretion of the court as they are trying to show how such a drastic change has happened.

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