[Article 370] The MP who raised "Pakistan Zindabad" Slogans in J&K assembly is in Supreme Court

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Recently, Roots in Kashmir, a voluntary organisation run by Kashmiri Pandits has filed a plea in the Supreme Court, highlighting the "credentials" of the lead petitioner, Mohammed Akbar Lone, in the case challenging the abrogation of Article 370. 

According to the application, Lone has has been "openly pro-Pakistan and India-hating". Amit Raina, who has sworn the affidavit before top court has informed it that 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. "He himself not only admitted shouting the slogan but refused to tender an apology when asked for by the journalists," the affidavit reads. 

Last month, Senior Advocate Kapil Sibal, also a former minister of law and justice in the Congress led UPA II, concluded arguments for Lone before a Constitution bench. Unsurprisingly, arguments centred around pro-Pak stances such as giving way to the will of the people and performing a referendum, just as was done in the United Kingdom for Brexit.

The affidavit which has been filed by the Kashmiri Pandit organisation has pointed out that Lone, while addressing the media, hesitated to identify himself as an Indian, when journalists sought answers from him for his pro-Pak sentiments and slogans in the J&K assembly.

A newspaper clipping substantiating this is part of the application submitted by the organisation questioning the petitioner before Supreme Court:-

Coverage of National Conference Leader Md. Akbar Lone raising Pro-Pakistan slogans in Indian Express - 11.02.2018

A number of other newspaper clippings which dictate his pro-Pak stance and sentiments have also been filed in the application where he is known to have said that he will abuse those who hurl abuses at Pakistan.

Though all these facts are known to have been a matter of public record, it may not be out of place to question the motives those who are against the abrogation of Article 370. In fact, when Lone's lawyer, senior counsel Kapil Sibal and Ex-Congress MP argued before a 5 judge bench led by CJI DY Chandrachud that the will of the people of J&K is paramount and supersedes the Constitution of India, Lone's stance echoing the words of Pakistan was put forward in very subtle words by equating it with that of UK's Brexit referendum. It was then that the CJI put forward that there was no question of such a referendum taking place as public opinion has to be sough through constitutionally established institutions. 

While there is no bar on any person approaching the Supreme Court of India, it is ironic that the MP from Baramulla, who has romanticised Pakistan in Constitution of India established institutions such as the J&K legislative assembly and dissociates himself from an Indian identity,  is making submissions before a Judiciary, which also derives its powers from the Constitution of India. 

If that is not all, when developmental statistics of Jammu & Kashmir were put forward by the Centre through Solicitor General of India Tushar Mehta, last week and the senior law officer highlighted a thoroughly significant drop in terrorist infiltrations (90.2%), it was Lone (through his counsel, senior Advocate Kapil Sibal), who objected to the facts being presented. It was his argument that this could "sway/influence" the mind of the judiciary and the people as the proceedings are being televised. When numbers speak for themselves, there is no reason to question development. But it was pointed out that the same was being done for political benefit by the ruling party. "This is  problematic," he said, to which the SG replied, "How can progress be a problem?".

In this backdrop, the important question is not whether Lone or the likes can continue to drive a specific agenda - but whether the locus of a person who has affiliations with a country like Pakistan, that has bled India time and again with terrorism and Islamic radicalism can be trusted.

Constitutionally speaking, is the voice or motive of individuals with lopsided affiliations (with Pakistan) over and above the sovereignty and integrity of India? Of course not, for the actions of such persons are not only contrary to the sovereignty and integrity of the Union of India but are in flagrant disrespect to the Constitution of India, primarily because the lead petitioner Lone had sworn his allegiance to it when he became a Member of Parliament.