Srinagar: PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti on Wednesday expressed happiness over the arguments in the Supreme Court during the hearing on a batch of petitions challenging the abrogation of Article 370, but said it was a test of Jammu and Kashmir's decision to accede to India.
The top court is hearing several petitions challenging the nullification of Article 370 and the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, 2019, which split the erstwhile state into two Union territories -- Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh.
"I am happy over the arguments in the SC. These are the issues me and PDP have been raising since 2019. The SC is fortunate that it does not face any hurdle, but our people are either arrested or put under house arrest for the same arguments that the decision taken in Parliament trampled the Constitution," Mehbooba told reporters here.
She said the arguments in the apex court make it "clear" that Parliament has no power to abrogate Article 370 till the constituent assembly of J-K does not recommend it to the President.
"There was no constituent assembly, (then J-K governor) Satya Pal Malik was made the constituent assembly, his advisors were made the council of ministers, what can be the biggest fraud than that? "What could be the biggest betrayal than that with the Constitution? What can be the biggest disrespect of Parliament than using your brute majority to desecrate Parliament and using it to take illegal decision?" she said.
The former J-K chief minister said she was happy that an open discussion is taking place in the top court and all the lawyers, including Kapil Sibal and others, were raising arguments openly that "there is no power in the world that can end Article 370 even if you have 500 MPs unless J-K's constituent assembly recommends it. This is clear".
On Chief Justice of India Justice D Y Chandrachud's praise for National Conference founder and former chief minister Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah, Mehbooba said the hearings were a test of the latter's "visionary decision" to join India.
"If the CJI acknowledges that the decision of Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah to reject the two-nation theory and join hands with India was a visionary decision, then it is the test of that visionary decision.
"Was his decision right where he was given guarantees by the government of India, the Constitution of the country that certain safeguards will be kept in the Constitution to uphold J-K's unique identity? Today, it is test of that decision to join India rather than joining Pakistan or remaining independent, whether it was right or wrong," she added.
The PDP chief said she has not mustered courage yet to sit through the hearings in the Supreme Court.
"Many of my well-wishers have asked me why have I not gone there? I want to tell them that for me and for the majority of the people of J-K, Article 370 is not just a legal or a Constitutional matter, it is linked to our sentiments. I have tried my best, but so far I have not been unable to make my heart so strong as to go there, sit in the court and listen to the discussion," she said.
The PDP president said she does not think she can bear the discussion because when she fought her first election, she took oath on J-K's Constitution along with the country's Constitution.
"I have upheld J-K's flag along with the flag of the country. So, personally, I do not have that courage to sit in the court and listen to the discussion. But, I am trying to build some courage to go there. It has become a dilemma for me that if I go there, would I bear the arguments against Article 370 or not?" she said.