STATE TIMES NEWSJAMMU: Advocate Shams Khawaja on Friday challenged J&K Reorganisation Act 2019 in Jammu and Kashmir High Court’s Jammu Wing. Advocate Khawaja in his petition has sought for declaring J&K Reorganization Act, 2019 ultra vires of the Constitution of India and issuance of appropriate directions in this regard. In the petition, it has been submitted that Union of India has recently rushed in legislation that inter-alia purports to bifurcate the State of Jammu and Kashmir and furthermore downgrade the residue units into Union Territories as detailed in the aforesaid legislation. The aforesaid legislation has since been given effect, it further submitted. The petitioner has contended that the aforesaid legislation violates the Constitutional paradigm in terms of procedure, in terms of substantive law and in .terms of jurisprudence as well. The petitioner submitted that these aspects should be considered during course of arguments. “The aforesaid legislation violates Article 3 of the Constitution of India, undermines the mandate inherent in Article 2 of the Constitution and sabotages the federal structuring that is a salient feature and basic to the structure of the Constitution itself”, the petition submitted adding that this legislation disregards the Framer’s Intent, manifestly and respondents have exceeded competent jurisdiction. In the petition it has been further submitted that in enacting the aforesaid legislation, the respondents have been very unfair to the Jammu region: this is nowhere to suggest that Kashmir or Ladakh regions have been treated duly and as per the admittedly stated ‘Statement of Reasons & Objects’ the following parameters were noticed for mooring while devising the said impugned legislation, namely: sparsity of population in a given territory unit such as Ladakh, impact of strife in given regions and respective regions having international borders with not very harmonious quarters. “Furthermore the realization of right to self-determination was also effectively taken cognisance of and acted upon by the respondents selectively”, it added. It was also submitted that the Right to Self-Determination is the spring of all democratic thought and processes and the people of Jammu are the ones who have been refused realization of the same, not to speak of the oppressed people of Kashmir. “It is the duty of the Government of the day to provide Good Governance to the people of the land and further that it is the democratic right of the people to determine their prospects themselves – from policies of their State to implementation priorities and methodology etc. By not granting separate, independent of any other region ‘Statehood’ a long-standing lawful expectation of the people of Jammu has been belied”, it added. It has been further submitted that the entire exercise of enactment of the said legislation (and by its implementation) the people of Jammu have been discriminated against by the respondents and their rights under Article 14 violated and by means of Presidential Order dated August 5, 2019 i.e. the Constitution (Application to Jammu & Kashmir) Order, 2019, the respondents have illegally deprived the people of Jammu of their constitutionally recognized special status due to their bonding with the Union of India under special conditions and have thereby furthermore violated their rights under Article 14 and discriminated against them.
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