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Lead petitioner in Art 370 matter raised Pakistan Zindabad' slogan, supported terrorism, secessionism in J&K, SC told

By LAWSTREET NEWS NETWORK      04 September, 2023 02:33 PM      0 Comments
Lead petitioner in Art 370 matter raised Pakistan Zindabad' slogan, supported terrorism, secessionism in J&K, SC told

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court was on Monday told National Conference MP Mohd Akbar Lone, the lead petitioner in the challenge to abrogation of Article 370 of the Constitution, has supported  secessionism and even raised 'Pakistan Zindabad' slogan in J&K Assembly.

Lone, who allegedly shouted 'Pakistan zindabad' slogan in Jammu and Kashmir assembly, must file an affidavit owing allegiance to the Constitution and stating that he opposed terrorism and secessionism, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta contended before a five-judge bench led by Chief Justice of India D Y Chandrachud.

“He is not an ordinary man but he is a Member of Parliament," Mehta said.

'It is not enough that he expresses remorse. He must say that I oppose and object to terrorism and any secessionist activity by Pakistan in Jammu and Kashmir or elsewhere. It must come on record,” he added.

As he is the lead petitioner challenging the abrogation of Article 370, he should submit an affidavit owing allegiance to Indian Constitution, Mehta asserted.

The bench, also comprising Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul, Sanjiv Khanna, B R Gavai, and Surya Kant, which is hearing the batch of matters, said it will seek response from the petitioner on these allegations.

One counsel submitted that petitioner Lone had shockingly said 'Pakistan Zindabad' in Assembly.

Mehta again contended saying “Pakistan Zindabad” on the floor of the House “has its own seriousness” and the court must see who is contesting the claim of continuing Article 370.

The bench told the counsel that the court will hear him on this for two minutes and then he can raise the point.

Senior advocate Rakesh Dwivedi submitted Lone should apologise.

"He should file an affidavit saying that I owe allegiance to the Constitution of India……he must say that I strongly oppose terrorism and secessionism in Jammu and Kashmir,” Mehta said.

One counsel said Lone had never shown any remorse.

“Lone must say I oppose terrorism by Pakistan in Jammu and Kashmir and elsewhere. It must come on record….he is the lead petitioner….he is not an ordinary man, he is an MP,” Mehta said.

Senior advocate V Giri, representing a party, contended that somebody before the highest court of the land challenges presidential orders and he does not apologise for his statement and his submissions should be taken only if he apologises.

The bench said it will put to the counsel when the rejoinder is called out.

Mehta said despite being brought to the notice of the court, if he does nothing then it may encourage others.

"Efforts of the nation to bring normalcy might be affected and coming from responsible leaders, it has its own context and seriousness,” he said.

On Sunday, a plea was filed before the Supreme Court questioning credentials of Lone, one of the key petitioners.

'Roots in Kashmir’, a prominent organization representing Kashmiri pandits, has claimed that Lone is a known supporter of secessionist forces operating in J&K and, in the past, has also shouted pro Pakistan slogans on the floor of the J&K Assembly.

Lone was a member of the legislative assembly from 2002 to 2018 and has shouted slogans like "Pakistan Zindabad' on the floor of the J&K Assembly," the intervention application alleged, referring to several media reports in support of their claim.

An intervention application was  filed by 'Roots in Kashmir', seeking to bring some additional documents and facts on record in the matter.

He not only admitted shouting the slogan but refused to tender an apology when asked by the journalists. While addressing the media, he hesitated to identify himself as an Indian. Similarly in his rallies also he is known for spreading pro-Pakistan sentiments, it claimed.
 



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