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Shocking or Expected? Lawyers, Netas, Journos Weigh in on SC's Article 370 Order

SC's much-awaited order has drawn mixed reactions from a spectrum of lawyers, political leaders and journalists.

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Video Producer: Divya Uppal 
Video Editor: Prashant Chauhan 

The Supreme Court, with its much-awaited judgment on Monday, 11 December, upheld the revocation of Article 370 that was carried out in August 2019. The order has drawn mixed reactions from a spectrum of lawyers, political leaders and journalists, while some experts have welcomed the verdict, others have found it disappointing.

For context, the top court has also directed the Election Commission of India to conduct elections in Jammu and Kashmir by September 2024 and have even asked for the restoration of J&K's statehood "at the earliest."

Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud had also noted that Jammu and Kashmir did not retain any element of sovereignty after it acceded to India.

Welcoming the verdict, Prime Minister Narendra Modi wrote on X (formerly Twitter), "....it is a resounding declaration of hope, progress and unity for our sisters and brothers in Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh. The Court, in its profound wisdom, has fortified the very essence of unity that we, as Indians, hold dear and cherish above all else."

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'Historic Day For Me Too': SG Tushar Mehta

Meanwhile, Solicitor General of India Tushar Mehta stated: "Being the only lawyer involved in the process of abrogation of Article 370, through constitutional and legal means before 5 August, 2019 and having led the arguments before the Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court while defending the constitutional process, it is a historical day for me too."

SC's much-awaited order has drawn mixed reactions from a spectrum of lawyers, political leaders and journalists.

Tushar Mehta's response.

(Photo: X/Twitter)

On the other hand, Adish Aggarwala, Supreme Court Bar Association President and All India Bar Association Chairman welcomed the verdict and "expressed happiness over it," as per PTI.

'History Alone Final Arbiter...'

Another group of lawyers and advocates have however, dissented and disagreed with the landmark judgement. One of them being senior advocate Kapil Sibal who had also fought on behalf of the petitioners challenging the Article 370 abrogation.

Sibal posted on X, minutes before the supreme court judges assembled to announce the verdict. He wrote that "some battles are fought to be lost, for history must record uncomfortable facts for generations to know."

'Advice Is To Accept It': Erstwhile King Hari Singh's Son

Responding to the apex court's order, senior Congress leader and erstwhile Maharaja Hari Singh's son Karan Singh noted that even though a section of Jammu and Kashmir will not be happy with this judgement, his "sincere advice is that they should accept the inevitable and they should accept the fact that now this has been done."

"...Therefore, there's no point now unnecessarily hitting their head against the wall. Now my suggestion is that they should turn their energies towards fighting the next elections. That is where the people should now be motivated instead of developing any negativity..."
Karan Singh, Erstwhile King Hari Singh's son to ANI

On the other hand, former Jammu and Kashmir and Democratic Progressive Azad Party (DPAP) chairman Ghulam Nabi Azad said the verdict is "sad and unfortunate" and while people of J&K are not happy with it, they will have to accept the same.

Disappointed with the order, People's Conference chief Sajad Lone stated that "justice yet again eludes people of J&K."

Meanwhile, Omar Abdullah, Vice-President of Jammu and Kashmir National Conference had earlier alleged that chains were put on the door of his gates while the verdict was being pronounced.

In a following post, he expressed his disappointment, nonetheless stated that "it took BJP decades to reach here. We are also prepared for the long haul."

In another post, he wrote the famous Faiz Ahmad Faiz' shayari.

J&K People's Democratic Party's chief Mehbooba Mufti posted a video, stating that people should not get disheartened by the order adding that "this is not our loss, this is the loss of idea of India."

Jammu and Kashmir, National Conference MP Hasnain MasoodI, himself a former judge, said, "...The question of J&K being divided into two parts and downgraded from a state to a Union Territory (UT) has not been been addressed. Our senior lawyers will review this judgment and see what we've to do."

Home Minister Amit Shah also posted on X and welcome the verdict.

In another post, he wrote, "After the abrogation of Article 370, the rights of the poor and deprived have been restored, and separatism and stone pelting are now things of the past. The entire region now echoes with melodious music and cultural tourism."

Asaduddin Owaisi, President of All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) while expressing his disappointment said:

"....in my opinion, abrogating 370 was violation of constitutional morality, abrogation, bifurcation and downgrading of the state has been a betrayal for the J&K People. Tomorrow, nobody can stop BJP from making Kolkata, Hyderabad, Chennai, Mumbai a UT. Most impact would be on Dogras and Ladakhi Buddhists."

Karti P Chidambaram, Congress leader also stated that the elections should be held as "people cannot be deprived of having their electoral representatives and the statehood must be restored immediately."

'So Much Law, So Little Justice'

Several senior editors and journalists across media newspapers and online platforms also posted on X, raising pertinent questions in light of the Supreme Court's order on Monday.

Right before the verdict was announced, one of the petitioners and activist Mir Shahid Saleem had stated, "I feel it will be a watershed moment in the political history of Jammu and Kashmir." And that, it has surely become.

(With inputs from ANI, PTI)

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