After 2 years, SC to resume Article 370 hearings in July

NEW DELHI: After a hiatus of over two years during which Covid-19 disrupted the Supreme Court’s normal functioning, it will resume in July hearing a batch of petitions challenging the scrapping of J&K’s special status under Article 370 and its bifurcation into UTs.
On mention by senior advocates Shekhar Naphade and P Chidambaram for urgent hearing of these petitions pending for nearly three years, CJI N V Ramana on Monday said, “The five-judge bench constituted for hearing the petitions needs to be recast as a judge, who was part of the bench, has retired”.
When the advocates insisted for resumption of hearing next week, the CJI said it would not be possible as his colleagues would have to be consulted for reconstituting the bench.
On March 2, 2020, the last date when the court had dealt with these pleas, a bench of Justices N V Ramana, S K Kaul, R S Reddy, B R Gavai and Surya Kant had rejected a petition for referring the issue to a seven-judge bench. Reddy retired this January, and the CJI will retire on August 26. Since the CJI agreed to schedule the resumption of hearing in July, it’s improbable he would head the bench a month before his retirement.