Supreme Court defers hearing on Article 35-A

The Supreme Court Monday deferred the hearing on Article 35-A by eight weeks. 

Attorney General during the hearing told the court that hearings may affect the work of recently appointed interlocutor.

The Government had sought the six months time for the next hearing to which supreme court granted eight weeks.

The petitions challenging the constitutional validity of Article 35A were filed by NGO on grounds that Article 35A was illegally added to the Constitution of India as the Article was never proposed before the Parliament.

Four petitions, which demanded the scrapping of the provision, have been listed before a bench of Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra and Justices AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud.

The main petition was filed by ‘We the Citizens’, a Delhi-based NGO in 2014. Three more petitions were also filed challenging the Article but were later clubbed with the main one.

Article 35A of the Indian Constitution is an article that empowers the Jammu and Kashmir state’s legislature to define “permanent residents” of the state and provide special rights and privileges to those permanent residents, while article 370 gives special status to the state of J&K in the Indian Union.

The issue has triggered controversy after a plea was filed by Charu Wali Khanna, a lawyer and former member of the National Commission for Women, challenging Article 35A of the Constitution and Section 6 of the Jammu and Kashmir Constitution which deal with the “permanent residents” of the state.

Pertinently, the joint resistance leadership yesterday warned of “mass agitation” if the supreme court delivers a verdict against the interests and aspirations of people of the state.” The leadership comprising Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Muhammad Yasin Malik said that any move to tinker with the state subject law will lead to a “Palestine-like situation” in the state.

The separatist leadership said that people in the state would resist the conspiracy tooth and nail. They appealed to lawyers, writers, scholars and other respected members of society to make people aware of the “consequences” of proposed repealing of state-subject law.

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