NEW DELHI (Diya TV) – India’s Supreme Court backed Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government’s decision to scrap Article 370, thereby removing the special status of Jammu and Kashmir. The verdict, delivered by Chief Justice DY Chandrachud, emphasized the temporary nature of Article 370, originally introduced due to war conditions in the state.

The Supreme Court’s ruling directs the swift restoration of statehood for Jammu and Kashmir, aligning it with other Indian states. Chief Justice Chandrachud emphasized that the removal of special status in 2019 was constitutionally valid, reinforcing the government’s position.

The decision marks a political win for the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) ahead of upcoming general elections. The 2019 move to end Article 370 was a campaign promise by the BJP, and the Supreme Court’s validation is seen as a boost for the party.

Following the revocation of Article 370 in 2019, Jammu and Kashmir lost its autonomous rights, including the ability to have its constitution, flag, and decision-making authority in various matters. The Supreme Court’s judgment now paves the way for the region to regain statehood.

The historical context of Article 370, introduced in 1949, granted autonomy to Jammu and Kashmir in internal administration, with exceptions in finance, defense, foreign affairs, and communications. The subsequent addition of Article 35A in 1954 allowed special rights for permanent residents, a provision that was also scrapped with the removal of Article 370.

The Supreme Court’s unanimous decision also addressed the bifurcation of Jammu and Kashmir into two union territories in 2019 – Jammu and Kashmir in the west and Ladakh in the east. The reclassification of Ladakh was upheld by the court.

The court’s directive for elections in Jammu and Kashmir by September 30, 2024 is a step towards restoring democratic processes in the region. The ruling has drawn varied reactions, with some politicians expressing disappointment, while others see it as an opportunity for a new beginning.

Modi welcomed the verdict, describing it as a “resounding declaration of hope, progress, and unity.”