Article 35A hearing in Supreme Court: The Supreme Court may begin hearing on the pleas challenging the constitutional validity of Article 35A of the Constitution this week. The Supreme Court’s advance cause list mentioned the matter for hearing between February 26 and 28. However, the final cause list issued on Wednesday evening didn’t mention it. The matter will not be taken up for hearing today as expected.
Article 35A promises special rights to the people of Jammu and Kashmir. However, several petitions including one from RSS-linked NGO ‘We the citizen’ have been filed in the top court seeking its revocation. The crucial hearing was earlier listed from February 26 to February 28. The hearing assumes significance as it comes at a time when tension in Kashmir has reached a new high following Pulwama terror attack.
The ties between India and Pakistan deteriorated further after Pulwama incident. Pakistan-based terror group JeM claimed responsibility for the attack that left 40 CRPF soldiers dead.
Also, almost all regional parties in Jammu and Kashmir have toughened their stand on Article 35A and warned the Modi government against any decision to repeal the special article that was incorporated in the Constitution by a 1954 Presidential Order. It accords special rights and privileges to the citizens of Jammu and Kashmir and bars people from outside the state from acquiring any immovable property in the state.
Last August, the top court had deferred the hearing till January this year in view of the local bodies polls. The Centre and the Jammu and Kashmir administration had said the issue of Article 35A was very sensitive and keeping in mind the law and order aspect, the hearing be held in January or March 2019. Recently, the state administration told the court to defer the hearing in view of the protests in the Valley. It argued that the state has no elected government and it would only be appropriate for an elected government to take a stand before the Supreme Court on the matter.