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.During the hearing of the matter on August 9, the Court said that in a Constitutional democracy like India, the opinion of people on public issues is sought through established institutions and not referendums as in the case of Brexit in the United Kingdom.The top court, on August 10, remarked that in no way was the integration of Jammu and Kashmir with India in 1948 conditional. The integration was absolute and complete in every which way, remarked CJI Chandrachud.Live updates from today's hearing feature here..Hearing begins..Senior Advocate Nitya Ramakrishnan: Spoken or unspoken assumption is 370 is temporary waiting for greater integration. It is fallacious. Integration is not a measure of how much control the Central government has. It is not a function of central control of power. It is pernicious to say that central rule areas are more united than others. This assumption that J&K is not integrated is not correct. Once they acceded they became Indians. .Nitya Ramakrishnan: Political sovereignty rests with people. This Court has recognised that political sovereign is entrusted to the legal sovereign and the constitution governs it. The nation state is an association of associations. Article 370 governs the mode of governance. There is a democratic pact which was a part of 370..Nitya Ramakrishnan: A Governor who is not recognised the council of ministers is not recognised under article 370. Thus, all the COs issued were not valid.If a change has to occur, then the recommendation has to emanate from an authority which is equal in mandate as compared to the constituent assembly..Nitya Ramakrishnan: When political parties are ready and willing to stake a claim what business does the Governor has to say that I am not here and I am not there. Then we are told that situations were not conducive for elections. This is malice and this power under Article 356 which is subject to appraisal by State legislature has been used to destroy the state legislature. Now the people of J&K has no state legislature and ensured that there is no future legislature also..Nitya Ramakrishnan: This is a self proclaimed agent through a series of proxies strangling the principle and then telling your lordship that this is not murder this is suicide..Nitya Ramakrishnan reads the interview of Governor Satyapal Malik to The Wire: he says he did not even know why the CO was being issued and this is people's will? Justice SK Kaul: This is a post facto statement.. Nitya Ramakrishnan: Yes consider it only at that level.Nitya Ramakrishnan: In October 2019, I visited the valley with a friend and the one name resonated across the valley was of Mahatma Gandhi. His legacy must be borne in mind while deciding this case..Senior Advocate Menaka Guruswamy begins submissions.Guruswamy: Yesterday a question was posed to Mr Dinesh Dwivedi as to whether a statement made by a member of the assembly can be accorded the status of the will of the people. It is a particularly important question because in this case there is not one but two constituent bodies. It poses upon us a seminal constitutional question that can constitution be altered in ways opposed to the founders of the constitution.I am not a drafter or a debate. I am on the founders constitutional intention. When we think of this country's founding at the time of partition, it was drafting the constitution.We know what is happening in J&K. India's first prime minister said the land of this nation is strewn with blood. Thus there are certain seminal founding moments for constitutions and it is important because this court has walked the path of transformative constitutionalism... from our drafters constitutional intention.It is not about the constituent assembly of Jammu and Kashmir alone. It is about the promise made by the Indian constitution also..Guruswamy: Ladakh Autonomous Hills Development Council Act provided for decentralised autonomous bodies for governance and it is rendered null and void plus they also have no representation.CJI DY Chandrachud refuses to hear the point on delimitation since there is no reference order from the earlier case Guruswamy: But all parts falling out of abrogation is open for arguments including delimitation. We made promises through our drafters and it is only constitutional integrity to keep our promises..Advocate Manish Tiwari: Constitution of India along with being a politico social document was always a national security document as it is just not about use of hard power of the state. Even a slight apprehension in the periphery of India can have serious implications.. before I come to North east. SG Tushar Mehta: We must understand the difference between temporary provision such as Article 370 and special provisions which is applicable to the north-east. Central government HAS NO INTENTION TO touch the special provisions. This will have serious repercussions. There is no apprehension and there is no need to create apprehension..CJI: Why should we go into apprehensions at all when Centre has no such intention why should we apprehend this at all. Apprehensions are allayed by the statement of the Central government.Justice SK Kaul: See article 370 is a temporary. Of course it has been argued it is not. But that is the context of the case.CJI: Mr Tiwari has urged that apart from provisions contained in part 21 of the constitution applicable to J&K, there are other special provisions governing the north-east. SG Mehta has submitted on specific instructions of the Centre that it has no intention to affect any of the special provisions. Reference of this case is to article 370 and thus there is no commonality of interest in the IA and the case being heard. In any event SG statement allays apprehension in this regard. This stands disposed of..Advocate Warisha Farasat: If you see Article 368, there are checks and balances. When we are reading Article 370, there must be strict interpretation of what can and cannot be done and it cannot be done in casual manner where one authority is substituted by another..Advocate Warisha Farasat: For abrogation it was only left to the constituent assembly and there is no other way to reconcile it. What happened during the abrogation. The three (former) chief ministers were in detention. This is malice in law and we determine this by actions surrounding the abrogation itself..Advocate Zahoor Ahmed Bhat: I appear for a professor and it is very embarrassing for us when we teach this beautiful document that is the Constitution of India. The special status was downgraded to the State becoming two UTs. This was a violation of the rights of people of J&K, Cooperative federalism. .All counsel requests for the AC temperature to be made a notch higher.SG Tushar Mehta: It is very chilly.CJI: We will do that.Bench rises for lunch. Hearing to resume at 2 pm..Bench assembles..Senior Advocate Gopal Sankaranarayanan: I express my deepest gratitude for the immense patience to all on the petitioner side. I appear on behalf of Soayib Kureshi. He is an Advocate on Record in this court..Sankaranarayanan: This is a case not for Kashmir or Kashmiris but the abuses the executive can help on the constitution with the means adopted as here. This is an encroachment into the constitution.CJI: AG Noorani has criticised the judgment in Sampath Prakash. I was reading it after someone cited it. Gopal S: There was a previous attempt to do away with Article 370. Former Home minister had opined that nothing can be done to do away with it. This history shows how the interpretation of 370 has been consistent without any departure.CJI: Article 1 is a permanent feature of the Indian constitution... What was the reason why 370(1) called for application for article 1 of the constitution? It is because during that interim period where other articles could be modified. Article 1 can never be modified. This shows that Article 370 was never of permanent nature. This was a convenient expedient to have COs applicable to J&K and with time to make J&K a complete and integral part of India..Gopal Sankaranarayanan: Article 368 in our constitution does not allow repeal of the constitution. It will be difficult for this court to give a verdict that constituent assembly is resurrected. This case is effectively about whether a power exists and whether the procedure is laid to exercise that power followed?.Gopal Sankaranarayanan: Executive is a creature of this Constitution. People are sovereign. When the word suspended like in Article 356 is used it means in the interregnum. These are a series of abuses which have taken place on the Constitution. In 2018, Pakistan passed an amendment to the interim Constitution concerning Pakistan Occupied Kashmir and a GO related to Gilgit Baluchistan. It was challenged in HC ,HC reversed and SC allowed it. Govt trying to wrest control over it. is India not different ? Are we not a democracy? Are we going to follow the example of the ones who put their prime ministers in jail?.CJI DY Chandrachud: Article 370 is silent on what the regime should be when the constituent assembly ceases to exist. This means that article 370 has worked itself out in terms of articles 1, 2 and 3. If that happens then two options then either Constitution of J&K will be supreme and the other will be... Can the constitution of a federating unit be superior to the constitution of the union?.CJI: Operation of 370 has to come to an end when the constituent assembly comes to an end.. the proviso to 370(3)... it says "declare that this article ceases to operate or subject to exceptions and modifications..".. Now this exception modification is in clause d and then in clause 3..Point is that is Article 370 is itself not self limiting when the constituent assembly ceases to exist and if not are we saying that the constitution of J&K overrides our constitution... is it not? Does it mean that anything said by constituent assembly of J&K binds our nation and our parliament? But that did not happen. reason was to merge J&K with the rest of the country..Gopal Sankaranarayanan: this is not some executive order we are talking about. This is a constitutional amendment which has been brought in..Gopal Sankaranarayanan: I have given example of Azad Kashmir, Gilgit Balochistan and hopefully we will not tread down the same path. These documents you can read it at your leisure.CJI DY Chandrachud: Have you left us any time for leisure now?Justice Kaul: It will take us a couple of months now CJI: But you and your juniors have done a good job of making these tabulations for us..CJI DY Chandrachud: The constitution bench will be assembling tomorrow and then on Monday as well. Monday also we have the Constitution Bench (followed by Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday) for the sake of continuity. .Arguments by Attorney General for India, Solicitor General of India and Senior Advocate Harish Salve for the Central government to commence from tomorrow onwards..Bench rises for the day.