Press Trust of india

Issue of “non-functional” statutory panels in J&K under consideration, Centre to SC

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New Delhi: The Centre on Friday told the Supreme Court that the issue of allegedly non-functional statutory panels in Jammu and Kashmir, including the human rights commission, is under consideration and sought three weeks to apprise it  of developments.

A bench comprising Chief Justice D Y Chandrachud and Justices P S Narasimha and J B Pardiwala took note of Solicitor General Tushar Mehta’s submissions that the issue raised in the PIL is being considered at an “appropriate level”.

The top court also directed petitioner, Pune-based lawyer Asim Suhas Sarode, to also make the union territories of Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh parties to the PIL.

“List after three weeks,” the CJI said.

He added that the Centre will apprise the bench about developments in the matter on the next date of hearing.

On November 28 last year, the top court had taken note of Sarode’s PIL, which alleged the statutory panels were not functional in the union territory after the abrogation of Article 370 in the then state, and sought the Solicitor General’s assistance to deal with the issues raised.

The bench had asked Sarode to provide a copy of his petition to the law officer.

The PIL said various statutory panels such the State Information Commission, the human rights body and the consumer panel in the UT are not working.

Sarode has made the DoPT (Department of Personnel and Training), National Human Rights Commission and the Law Commission of India parties to the PIL.

In August 2019, the Centre bifurcated Jammu and Kashmir into two Union territories and abrogated the provisions of Article 370 of the Constitution which accorded special status to the erstwhile state.

The Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Bill was introduced in the Rajya Sabha on August 05, 2019 and passed the same day. The Lok Sabha cleared it the next day.

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