Historic Step Can Also Be a Blunder: Soli Sorabjee on Article 370

Sorabjee also said that putting leaders in J&K under house arrest “sends a wrong signal to the people of the state.”

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Shortly after the Centre moved to revoke Article 370 through a Presidential Order on Monday, 5 August, former attorney-general of India Soli Sorabjee said “nothing revolutionary has been done” and that it was merely a political decision.

“It’s a political decision, it’s not a wise decision,” Sorabjee told ANI after Union Minister for Home Affairs Amit Shah announced in Rajya Sabha the revocation of Article 370, which confers special status to Jammu & Kashmir.

Shah also moved a Bill to bifurcate the state into two Union Territories – Jammu Kashmir as one, and Ladakh as the other.

Asked if this was a historic step by the NDA government, Sorabjee responded saying “historic step bhi blunder hota hain (a historic step can also be a blunder).”

‘Nothing Revolutionary’

On the issue of Article 370 and Article 35A being abrogated and what it means for the people of the state of Jammu & Kashmir, Sorabjee said that the residents of the region will get all the democratic rights as the rest of the people of India have.

“Nothing revolutionary has been done. Article 35A wasn’t a part of the Constitution. It was inserted by a Presidential Order. The laws of India which were not applicable to the state of Jammu and Kashmir will now apply.”
Soli Sorabjee, former Attorney-General of India

“But for that, you require Parliamentary approval. The Bill will have to be moved in Parliament and as far as I can see, it will be passed because BJP has a majority there,” he added.

‘Wrong Signal to People of Kashmir’

The Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Bill, expected to be passed by Rajya Sabha today, proposes to bifurcate the state. It proposes Ladakh as a separate Union Territory without a legislature, and Jammu & Kashmir as a Union Territory with a legislature.

Sorabjee also highlighted the manner in which the leaders in the state like former Chief Ministers Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti were reportedly put under house arrest late on Sunday.

“You didn’t ask me about the arrests, but to my mind I don’t like this at all. I think it is very unnecessary and very unpleasant. It sends a wrong signal to people of Kashmir. I don’t approve of it,” Sorabjee said.

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