BJP given month to challenge pleas against Article 370 abrogation

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The Supreme Court on Tuesday fixed November 14 to commence hearing a batch of petitions challenging the constitutional validity of the amendment to Article 370 revoking the special status for Jammu and Kashmir, Indian media reported.

A five-judge bench, headed by Justice N V Ramana allowed the BJP government four weeks time to file counter-affidavits to the cases, and one week time for the petitioner to file a rejoinder. The top court said it will not entertain any more petitions, India Today reported.

“We have to allow the Centre and the J&K administration to file counter-affidavit otherwise we can’t decide the matter,” the bench also comprising justices S K Kaul, R Subhash Reddy, B R Gavai and Surya Kant said.

The Bharatiya Janata Party-led government stripped occupied Kashmir of its autonomy on August 5 while placing the valley under a lockdown and arresting Kashmiri leaders in a bid to prevent protests against the move. On October 5, the lockdown will have been in place for two months.