New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday deferred till after Diwali the hearing on petitions challenging Article 35A of the Indian Constitution which grants special rights and privileges to permanent residents of Jammu and Kashmir.
A bench headed by Justice JS Khehar accepted the plea of the Jammu and Kashmir government that the petitions be heard after Diwali, giving the state government more time to respond.
Senior advocate Rakesh Dwivedi and Advocate Shoeb Alam told the bench, which also comprised Justices Dipak Misra and DY Chandrachud, that the central government had no objection if the petitions were taken up after Diwali.
“All the pleas will be taken up for hearing after Diwali,” the bench said.
Earlier the apex court had favoured hearing of the matter by a five-judge constitution bench. The court had said that a three-judge bench will hear the matter and refer it to a five-judge bench if necessary.
The court was hearing a petition filed by Charu Wali Khanna that challenged Article 35A and Section 6 of the Jammu and Kashmir Constitution on the grounds that they denied property rights to a woman who marries a person from outside Jammu and Kashmir.
“Section 6 of the Jammu and Kashmir Constitution restricts the basic right of women to marry a man of their choice by not giving the heirs any right to property if the woman marries a man not holding the Permanent Resident Certificate.
“Her children are denied a permanent resident certificate thereby considering them illegitimate – not given any right to such a woman’s property even if she is a permanent resident of Jammu and Kashmir,” she said in her petition.
While Jammu and Kashmir’s Non-Permanent Resident Certificate holders can vote in Lok Sabha elections, they are barred from voting in state and local elections.