SC asks NC leader Lone to file affidavit affirming India’s sovereignty, allegiance to Constitution

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New Delhi, September 4 (IANS) The Supreme Court on Monday asked National Conference (NC) leader Mohammad Akbar Lone, who is one of one of the main petitioners in the batch of pleas filed against abrogation of Article 370 and had reportedly raised "Pakistan Zindabad" slogans in the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly, to file a short affidavit affirming that the union territory is an integral part of India and he abides by and owes allegiance to the Constitution of India.

“He (Akbar Lone) has come to our court, we are more than duty bound to hear his submissions. People across the political spectrum in Jammu and Kashmir presented rival viewpoints before us, which is welcome …. but all of them have come here with one spirit that they abide by the integrity of India,” remarked Chief Justice of India D.Y. Chandrachud, who headed the Constitution Bench.

The Constitution Bench said that the NC leader has invoked jurisdiction of the Supreme Court under Article 32 of the Constitution and therefore, “necessarily abides by an allegiance to the Constitution”.

Earlier in the day, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Centre, pleaded before the Constitution Bench that Lone should file an affidavit that he owes allegiance to the Constitution of India and opposes terrorism and secessionism by Pakistan in Jammu and Kashmir.

Mehta said that if he is not asked to file an affidavit after the matter has been brought to the top court’s attention, it “might encourage others” and “efforts of the nation to bring in normalcy (in the union territory) might be affected”.

“Main petitioner in the lead petition saying 'Pakistan Zindabad' on the floor of the house has its own seriousness,” he added.

The Constitution Bench was told a ‘startling’ fact that Lone has reportedly uttered pro-Pakistan slogans in the Assembly and hesitated to be identified himself as an Indian.

It was also claimed that the NC leader as per media reports had said that Jammu and Kashmir's accession with India was incomplete.