Article 35A hearing in Supreme Court: Presenting the Centre's view on the issue in the top court, Attorney General of India KK Venugopal said, "Let local body elections finish in a peaceful manner."
Article 35A hearing in Supreme Court: The hearing on pleas challenging the validity of Article 35A in Supreme Court was today adjourned till January 2019 after the central government sought deferment of the matter citing local body elections in Jammu and Kashmir. Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, who was representing the state government in the apex court, stated, “All the security agencies are engaged in the preparation of the local body elections in the state.”
Presenting the Centre’s view on the issue in the top court, Attorney General of India KK Venugopal said, “Let local body elections finish in a peaceful manner.”
As per reports, while the phased panchayat polls will be held in October-December, urban local bodies will take place in September–October. The last panchayat polls in Jammu and Kashmir were held in 2011. The urban local body elections have not been held for nearly eight years.
What is Article 35A?
The Article 35A of the Constitution provides power to the Jammu and Kashmir legislature to define permanent residents of the state and provide them special rights and privileges. It was added to the Constitution by a Presidential Order — The Constitution (Application to Jammu and Kashmir) Order, 1954 — issued on 14 May 1954 as per the provisions of the Article 370 and in concurrence with the then state government, as per PTI report.
Kashmir Valley tense
The situation remained tense in the Kashmir Valley on Thursday due to a complete shutdown called by separatists against the legal challenge in the Supreme Court on the validity of Article 35A. However, the situation across the Valley is peaceful with no untoward incident reported from anywhere so far, officials were quoted as saying by PTI. Earlier on August 27, the crucial hearing on a fresh plea challenging the constitutional validity of Article 35-A was adjourned by the Supreme Court. On that very day, several parts of Kashmir witnessed violence as clashes broke out between protesters and security forces. At least 12 people were injured in the clashes, officials told PTI.