New Delhi: Ruling out plebiscite to determine the status of Jammu and Kashmir since the state is an integral part of India, the Centre on Thursday told the Supreme Court that British wanted J&K should go to Pakistan and not remain with India.
“The question of plebiscite does not arise as J&K Constitution says that the state is an integral part of India,” said attorney-general K.K. Venugopal, addressing a five-judge Constitution Bench.
The five-judge Constitu-tion Bench of Justices N.V. Ramana, S.K. Kaul, R. Subhash Reddy, B.R. Gavai and Surya Kant on Thursday continued hearing various pleas challenging the abrogation of Article 370, which conferred special status to the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir.
The bench reserved its judgment on a plea by veteran journalist Prem Shankar Jha, PUCL, and the J&K High Court Bar Association seeking that the matter be referred to a larger 7-judge Constitution Bench.
Mr Jha and the J&K High Court Bar Association have contended that, though in a different perspective, a five judge constitution bench in 1959 and later in 1969 had dealt with Article 370 and both the judgments were conflicting.
Addressing the constitution bench on the status of J&K, the attorney-general said that the J&K Constitution, which unequivocally says that the state was an integral part of the India, was framed by a Constituent Assembly having 25 popularly elected representatives.
To buttress his point Mr Venugopal referred to the preamble and other provisions of Jammu and Kashmir Constitution.
The Centre’s rejection of plebiscite to determine the status of Jammu and Kashmir apparently came in response to the arguments by senior counsel Zafar Ahmed Shah who had contended that integration of J&K with India was limited to the integration of territories with Centre controlling defence, external affairs and communication and not other issues internal to the State.
Mr Shah had said that accession of J&K to India was only territorial and it was distinct from the merger like that of Hyderabad. He said that in the case of J&K there was no stand still and merger treaty with the Union of India....