SRINAGAR: The Communist Party of India (Marxist) has filed an intervention application in the Supreme Court to safeguard Article 35A of the Constitution of India which provides special provisions for the state of Jammu and Kashmir.
Filed by CPI(M) member Muhammad Yousif Targami, who is also a legislator in the J&K assembly, the application has asked the court that Article 35A not be annulled, modified or repealed.
Targami has moved the court against the writ petition that has sought repeal of the Article. The hearing in the Supreme Court is scheduled on Monday.
In Kashmir, public anger is growing against the repeal petition. The resistance leadership has called for a Valley-wide shutdown for two days and the call has been backed by all trade bodies. Even the pro-India political parties have warned against any tinkering with Article 35A.
“Article 35A is very much necessary, and to not cause further alienation of the Kashmiri people from India, it must not be touched,” states the application which has been filed by senior advocate PV Surendranath.
“The State of Jammu & Kashmir is the only State in the Union of India which negotiated the terms of its membership with the union. As part of this negotiation process, the relationship of the Jammu & Kashmir State with Union of India and Constitutional machinery was a subject of prolonged and protracted discussion and debate between the leaders of the Jammu & Kashmir and the Union of India,” the application states.
Targami through his counsel has argued that Article 35A is part of Fundamental Rights granted by Part-III of the Indian Constitution. He said the state of J&K acceded to India on negotiable terms to which Article 35A is the key.
“The special status guaranteed to the State of Jammu Kashmir under the Constitution of India, which has assumed the permanent feature of the Constitution, requires protection as any alteration would be against the policy of federalism envisaged by the framers of Constitution,” states the application.
Targami has also referred to the ruling of Supreme Court in the case of President of India versus Sampat Prakesh, in which the contention related to repealing of the Article was rejected.