Published: Wed, May 16, 2018
Global News | By Blake Casey

Supreme Court to hear PILs dealing with Article 35A on August 16

Supreme Court to hear PILs dealing with Article 35A on August 16

In October past year also, SC had deferred the hearing for three months after Center told the apex court that it had appointed an interlocutor for holding talks with various stakeholders in Jammu and Kashmir and requested it to adjourn the hearing over the politically contentious issue, claiming the court hearing may affect the dialogue process. The interlocutor is in the process of discussing it...

The court is hearing a writ petition filed by non-governmental organisation, We the Citizens, which challenges the validity of both Article 35A and Article 370. "It is a sensitive issue", Venugopal told the bench, which also comprised Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud.

"Your lordships have seen what is happening in Kashmir". However, the bench asked the parties to complete pleading in the petition and posted the matter for final hearing on August 6.

Senior advocate Shekhar Naphade, also representing the state, said that since 1927, the position in this regard was clear and it can not be decided like this. As long as they are valid, the petitioners can not get any interim relief. Kumar said, "While those who migrated to Pakistan can come back and become permanent subjects of the state, children of these persons taken from Punjab, despite being in Jammu & Kashmir for generations, are not entitled to sit for medical entrance examination or seek employment in the state government".

"It is also a sensitive issue, but it is also the matter of life of people who have been forced to leave", the counsel said.

He said that article 35A, read with section 6 of the Jammu and Kashmir constitution, creates a problem and hence the matter should be referred to a constitutional bench as it is a pure question of law.

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However, Dwivedi told the court that since the issue required interpretation of the constitutional provision, no interim order should be passed in the matter.

The Article was incorporated in the Constitution in 1954 by an order of President Rajendra Prasad on the advice of the Jawaharlal Nehru Cabinet.

The provision mandates that no act of the State legislature coming under the ambit of Article 35A can be challenged for violating the Indian Constitution or any other law of the land.

The Supreme Court will examine fervent pleas for a five-judge Constitution Bench to decide whether special status granted to Jammu and Kashmir is unconstitutional. Subsequently, three more petitions challenged the provision and were filed and clubbed with the main one.

The state government had earlier said that the issue has already been "prima facie settled" by a full bench of the High Court in its verdict in 2002. He said the Centre would also make submissions on the constitutionality of Article 35A, which gives Jammu and Kashmir special status.

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