New Delhi: The Supreme Court (SC) on Monday adjourned the all important hearing on Article 35-A by twelve weeks. The hearing had aroused a keen interest among the people in the state as any decision by the apex court will have a direct bearing on the citizenship rights of the people of the state.
Attorney General (AG) K K Venugopal during the hearing told the court that hearings may affect the work of recently appointed interlocutor to Kashmir. Sources said that AG sought six months time for the next hearing to which Supreme Court granted twelve weeks.
According to reports, the apex court had earlier deferred the hearing by two months, but later amended its order.
The petitions were listed today before the division bench in court number 1 of SC in supplementary category.
Sources said that Venugopal told the apex court that Union government has appointed an interlocutor to talk to all stakeholders in the valley and hence hearing in this matter should be deferred for now.
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.
Earlier, Joint Resistance Leadership had warned of long term agitation if Article 35A was tinkered with.
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.
The top court has already clubbed other petitions including a petition filed by Charu Wali Khanna challenging Article 35-A of the Constitution and Section 6 of the Jammu and Kashmir Constitution which deal with the “permanent residents” of the state with the petition by NGO “We the Citizens.”
“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,” Charu has pleaded.
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.