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Indian Supreme Court defers hearing on Article 35A

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

The Indian Supreme Court has deferred hearing on petitions challenging Article 35A of the Indian Constitution that gives special rights and privileges to permanent residents of Jammu and Kashmir, besides disallowing outsiders from buying property or getting government jobs in the territory.

A three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra posted the matter for hearing to August 6 after Attorney General K K Venugopal sought an adjournment.

“This is a very sensitive matter. Our only prayer is that it may not be heard before three weeks as a solution is in the course of being devised,” Venugopal told the bench, which also included Justice A M Khanwilkar and Justice D Y Chandrachud.

Opposing an interim order at this juncture would be counterproductive, the Attorney General informed the bench.

On behalf of the PDP-BJP regime in occupied Kashmir, senior counsel Rakesh Dwivedi said that the Supreme Court had already settled the issue by ruling that Article 370 had attained a permanent status.

Added to the Constitution through a Presidential Order in 1954, Article 35A gives special rights and privileges to permanent residents of Jammu and Kashmir and debars Indian citizens from acquiring immovable property, obtaining government jobs and settling in the territory.

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.