A Constitution bench of the Supreme Court of India is hearing a batch of petitions challenging the abrogation of Article 370 of the Constitution which conferred special status on the erstwhile State of Jammu and Kashmir.The bench comprises Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud, and Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul, Sanjiv Khanna, BR Gavai, and Surya Kant.Over 20 petitions are pending before the Supreme Court challenging the Central government's 2019 decision to abrogate Article 370 of the Constitution, which resulted in the revocation of Jammu and Kashmir's special status. The erstwhile State was subsequently bifurcated into two Union Territories.When the matters were listed in March 2020, a five-judge Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court had decided not to refer the batch of petitions to a seven-judge Constitution Bench, despite some petitioners seeking such a reference.On August 2, the top court began final hearings in the matter with a question to the petitioners about whether the Constitution makers and Article 370 itself envisaged the provision as a permanent or temporary one.The Court sought to know whether the Article was envisaged as a permanent provision merely because the Constituent Assembly of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K), which was empowered to recommend the deletion of the provision, ceased to exist in 1957.On August 4, the top court asked whether the Article would become part of the basic structure of the Constitution if it is accepted that Article 370 of the Constitution became permanent when the Constituent Assembly of Jammu and Kashmir was dissolved in 1957.The top court, on August 10, remarked that the integration of Jammu and Kashmir with India in 1948 was not conditional. The integration was absolute and complete in every which way, remarked CJI Chandrachud.On August 24, the Central government began its arguments in Supreme Court defending its 2019 move to abrogate Article 370 of the Constitution.Solicitor General (SG) Tushar Mehta, who represented the Central government, invoked Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru and stated that the first Prime Minister had said that India would not recognize rulers of princely States who joined India as having any 'divine' rights.On August 28, the Supreme Court orally observed that Article 35A of the Constitution, which was repealed in 2019, effectively conferred special rights on the people of Jammu and Kashmir and, in the process, curtailed certain fundamental rights of persons domiciled in the rest of India.During the hearing on August 29, the apex court orally remarked that various parts of the country have been plagued by militancy and separatism including Punjab and north-eastern States and Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) cannot be singled out in that respect.Live updates from today's hearing here..Hearing begins..Counsel: Petitioner Akbar Lone has shockingly said Pakistan Zindabad in assembly. We wish to place an additional affidavit. CJI: We will hear you for 2 minutes so you can raise the point then. SG: He must say that I strongly oppose terrorism and secessionism.CJI: We also read the newspapers. We got your point. Adv: He has shown no remorse. SG: He must say I oppose terrorism by Pakistan in Jammu and Kashmir anywhere. He is the first petitioner after Shah Faesal's withdrawal..Senior Advocate V Giri: Just one submission. Somebody before the highest court of the land challenges presidential orders and he has not apologised for his statement. His submissions should be taken only if he apologises. SG: He does nothing despite it being brought to his notice, it might affect our efforts at normalcy. It has its own seriousness in its context..V Giri reading from Dr Ambedkar's speeches on federalism during the constituent assembly debates. .Giri: Dr Ambedkar justified the slanting of power in lawmaking towards the Centre..Giri: If Article 370 is resurrected the federal working structure which the Constitution behoves us to do will only meet more obstacles. If Article 370 is resurrected it will be violation of the basic structure of the constitution CJI: Then it would mean that original Article 370 abrogation would also be violation of the basic structure. You cannot make us hold in your favour in a provision which cannot be stated..ASG KM Nataraj: Article 370 is the only provision in the constitution which has a self destruction mechanism. The Article did not confer any kinds of rights.Justice Kaul: SG and AG has shown how the constitution is understood from different perspectives.. ASG: This Article has a flavour of constituent, legislative and executive power. When plenary power is entrusted on the president, it should not be read with any kind of restrictions. Such extraordinary power need not be read with any kind of restrictions. It should be given fullest meaning and applied without any restrictions. Justice Gavai: And forget the proviso? ASG: We cannot equate it with the procedure to be followed in Article 368..Mahesh Jethmalani: I will argue on 370(3). On political sovereignty, it rests with the Union. Permanent residents are citizens of India. Mr Akbar Lone may sometime feel that he is not, but he is.CJI: So you agree Mr Jethmalani that there is a clear concept of external and internal sovereignty. External lies clearly with the union and the internal is shared between the Union and the State. Jethmalani: The ultimate legal sovereignty rests with the Union and that is 370(3) which basically means you can get rid of Article 370 itself. .CJI: It has to be kept in mind that a legislature exercising its power to amend or pass a law is a discharge of constituent power and it not becoming a constituent assembly.Sr Adv S Guru Krishnakumar: The rights perspective is the decisive factor in determining the tenability of the challenge here and the rights perspective will trump all allegations of procedural infirmities. We have to see what is the problem suffered because of Section 6 of J&K constitution and Article 35A of Indian Constitution as applicable to J&K? Section 6 purported to set out who permanent residents are and 35A said that permanent residents will get certain benefits. Permanent residents were defined in a manner that even those who were citizens of J&K, because of the external aggression during 1947- they are excluded. Now what kind of basic structure violation is being contended? They are saying asymmetric federalism is recognised and now stretch it. Today they want to equate Article 370 with article 371 which is a special provision. The impugned COs are a reflection of transformative constitutionalism. Challenge of petitioner is contradictory in terms.. the effect of the CO is that the whole constitution applies to the State. This change is for perpetuation of vested rights..Advocate Kanu Agrawal: Yes there is federal diversity and it is a constitutional fact, but every constitutional fact cannot be elevated to the status of the basic structure doctrine. Derivative constituent power is always with the further legislature such as the parliament in this case and we have to see whether the constituent assembly of J&K had any original constituent power.Method and methodology under Article 367 has been taken care of. At a normative level it is correct to say that there can be no hierarchy in constituent power. However not everything necessarily runs normatively in Kashmir. J&K constituent assembly did not have any original constituent power - it was established under the proclamation of a Maharaja..Kanu Agarwal: The contention is under 370(3) they could have severed their ties with India, I submit that is an impossibility. They should have showed the letter Mr Nehru wrote in reply to Mr Rajendra Prasad. .ASG Vikramjit Banerjee: Special provision was added as an amendment at a later point of time. The very fact that it is taken to be a transitional and temporary provision shows ... it was permissible. Justice Gavai: This was argued.Adv Archana Dave: Right to immovable property was taken away if you married from outside the State. We have got these rights after 2019, can a 32 petition take away fundamental rights?Adv VK Biju: 370(3), what is the remedy?CJI: This has been argued. Biju: 368(1) starting itself is very important. CJI: Thank you we got the point..Advocate Rajesh Bhushan: Constitution of J&K has not given it powers to amend section 370(3). Advocate for Youth 4 Panun Kashmir: Integration with India was complete but economic ... Till 2016 even transfer Petitions could not be filed before this court, we had to come under Article 32..Bench rises. To continue at 2 pm..Senior Adv Kapil Sibal to begin rejoinder submissions for petitioners: This case has been argued at several levels and most of them unsolicited and without reference to the arguments made by us. Nobody on this side challenged the sovereignty of India. Justice Kaul: They are saying the first petitioner said something which is not in sync with it.Sibal: We do not know why he said, when he said, what was the recording etc.. CJI: Do we take that Mr. Akbar Lone believes in complete sovereignty of the nation and that J&K is an integral part of India. When he invokes the jurisdiction of the Court under article 32 then he has to believe in this. He has to furnish an affidavit that he believes J&K is an integral part of India and that there is complete sovereignty of India..Sibal: He is a member of the Lok Sabha. Of course he does believe in J&k being a part of India. Of course unconditionally he believes it. CJI: furnish an affidavit from Mr Lone that he swears allegiance to the Constitution of India and that J&K is an integral part of Union of India like all Indians. We have everyone from Jammu and Kashmir here.Justice Khanna: If your client says something outside the court which is not in sync with your submission...SG: He has made speeches supporting terrorism and secessionism... Let me file an affidavit stating that he does not believe and support on any of this.AG: He wants his fundamental rights to be enforced and then takes a contrary viewpoint. Sibal: There are also people who are vilified on streets.. SG: That is not proper.. Sibal: Then furnish an apology. On my part we will file an affidavit. .Sibal: We cannot make this case into an emotive majoritarian interpretation of the Constitution..Sibal: If you look at history, J&K was not linked to the rest of India. Jammu and Kashmir has a detailed constitution which has an administrative structure and the executive structure.Sibal: J&K was never asked to sign a merger agreement. CJI: How many merger agreements were there? Because everybody who signed instrument of accession did not sign the merger agreement. .Sibal: Concurrence means an executive can say no. If you read article 370 presidential notification cannot be initiated. Recommendation has to come and that is important. After recommendation and then president notification, that process has to be followed.CJI: Constitution does not tell us what would happen after J&k Constitution comes into force. There is no express provision. It was always like allow Article 370 to operate. Let the process of integration get over and then concurrence and consultation happens. But at what time integrations is over is not hedged in the constitution of India, silences in 370 left it to the wise act of both the sides of J&K and the Union of India..Sibal: Constitution has to be interpreted and not look at what the silences in the Constitution are. CJI: So there is in our constitution that in which amended power is unavailable and there is a provision which lies above the basic structure? Sibal: No no milord.. where are we going? CJI: So you are saying power to amend the Article lies in the Article itself and so we are dealing with a provision which perhaps lies even higher than the basic structure doctrine.Sibal: no no we have not argued that..Sibal: A political process must have a political solution. CJI: You are saying there is no solution to Kashmir within the constitution and that it is a political one.. but all solutions have to be within the framework of the constitution..Justice Kaul: You are saying 370(3) does not exist but centre says 370(3) exists and it has been taken away by them. That is the crux..CJI: Section 92 is sui generis. When an assembly is placed under suspended animation then it is also exercise of Article 356. If the governor's dissolution is incorrect then at the end of 6 months, assembly is restored ? Justice Kaul: If no state government comes together or forms a government.Sibal: You keep assembly under suspended animation then, a constitutional process cannot be stultified like this..Bench rises. Hearing to resume tomorrow.