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SC Refers Article 370 Cases to 5-Judge Constitution Bench

Kashmir LIVE: Petitions related to the abrogation of Article 370 will be heard by a five-judge Constitution Bench in October, the Supreme Court said today while hearing pleas against the repeal of special status in J&K. The top court also issued notices to the Centre and Jammu and Kashmir administration on the pleas. “We know what to do, we have passed the order, we are not going to change,” the bench said, as the Centre contended that there was no need for issuance of notice in the matter as Attorney General KK Venugopal and Solicitor General were present in court.

The Supreme Court also allowed CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury to visit Jammu and Kashmir to meet his party colleague and former MLA Mohammed Yusuf Tarigami in the state. The CJI-led bench, however, directed Yechury to only meet Tarigami and not use the visit for any political purpose. The bench said if Yechury indulges in any political activities, authorities are free to report them to the apex court.

Tuesday’s Home Ministry meeting, chaired by newly-appointed Union Home Secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla, saw the attendance of more than 15 secretaries of Central government departments, including finance, agriculture, rural development, industries. Bhalla assessed the roadmap for implementation of Central schemes in the two newly-created Union Territories — Jammu and Kashmir with an Assembly and Ladakh without one — before they come into existence on October 31.

Some Central government officials have visited Srinagar while more senior officials are expected to visit the Valley in the coming weeks.

The Central government will also assist the Jammu and Kashmir administration in implementing the 85 development schemes announced by Governor Satya Pal Malik.

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