New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday deferred hearing on petitions challenging the constitutional validity of Article 35A, which grants special rights and privileges to permanent residents of Jammu and Kashmir.
The Government of India told the apex court that the matter is very sensitive and as the GoI’s interlocutor (Dineshwar Sharma) is making efforts to find a solution to the problems in the state, the court should not pass any interim order as it would be counter-productive.
Four petitions demanding scrapping of the provision were listed for Monday before a bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud.
The main petition was filed by a Delhi-based NGO “We the Citizens”. Later, three petitions filed by West Pakistan Refugees Action Committee, Dr Charu Wali Khanna, and Kali Dass were clubbed together.
The pleas have challenged, among others, certain provisions of Article 35A which deny property rights to a woman from J&K who marries a person from outside the state.
Article 35A was added to the Constitution of India by a Presidential Order in 1954. It empowers the J&K legislature to frame any law without attracting a challenge on grounds of violating the Right to Equality of people from other states or any other right under the Indian Constitution.
While Jammu and Kashmir’s Non-Permanent Resident Certificate holders can vote in Lok Sabha elections, they are barred from voting in local elections in the state.