Article 35A row updates: Not right time to hear plea as law relates to 'gender discrimination', Supreme Court told

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Article 35A row updates: Not right time to hear plea as law relates to 'gender discrimination', Supreme Court told
  • 13:14 (IST)

    Recap: What is article 35A?

    Article 35A of the Constitution is one of the legislation ensuring the special rights of the state of Jammu and Kashmir and it sresidents. The article empowers the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly to define the state's 'permanent residents' and their special rights and privileges. It was added to the Constitution through a presidential order of 1954 with the then Jammu and Kashmir government's concurrence. 

    The Article, often referred to as the Permanent Residents law, prohibits non-permanent residents from permanent settlement in the state, meaning, non-residents cannot buy immovable property, or take government jobs, scholarships and aid. 

  • 13:03 (IST)

    Law relates to 'gender discrimination' but not the right time to hear plea, Supreme Court told

    The Additional Solicitor General told the Supreme Court bench that though Article35A also relates to "gender discrimination" it is not the right time to hear the petitions.

    Article 35A, denies property rights to a woman who marries a person from outside the state. The provision, which leads to such women from the state forfeiting their right over property, also applies to their heirs. 

  • 12:53 (IST)

    Local body polls to be held in 8 phases between September and December, state govt tells court

    The state government told the Supreme Court that the paramilitary forces and security personnel will be occupied with the preparation of local body polls, therefore a law and order condition arising due to the hearing on an emotive issue. Although the date for the Panchayat election is not yet final the state told the court that they will be held in eight phases between September and December. 

  • 12:37 (IST)

    No one will fly Tricolour if law granting special rights to J&K citizens abrogated, says Mehbooba Mufti

    "If it does happen, for people like us who uphold the Indian Constitution, of which Article 35A is a part, it is going to be very difficult to uphold the national flag. If the government of India decides to dilute Article 370 and Article 35A, I think the space for everyone [and not just mainstream politics] is going to shrink," Mehbooba told Scroll  in a recent interview. She was reacting to a question about the petition challenging constitutionality of Article 35A.

  • 12:34 (IST)

    Jammu and Kashmir parties moved plea supporting Article 35A
     
     
    Political parties including the National Conference and the CPM, have moved the Supreme Court in support of Article 35A, that also empowers the state Assembly to define "permanent residents" for bestowing special rights and privileges to them. 

  • 12:16 (IST)

    SC should quash petition on basis that petioner is interested party: Shabnam Lone

    Kashmiri lawyer, Shabnam Lone told CNN-News18 that the Supreme Court should have quahsed the petition on the basis of the fact that the petitioner has no locus standii in the case. She said that the petitioner seems to be an interested party and Supreme Court's previous judgments make it clear that anyone having personal interested in the case cannot be party to the case. 

  • 12:12 (IST)

    'Law is 60-years-old, what's the urgency now?' SC asks petitioner's lawyer

  • 12:05 (IST)

    Engineer Rashid says SC decision to delay matter disappointing 

    Speaking to CNN-News18, Independent MLA Engineer Rashid said that he was disappointed by the Supreme Court decision of postponing the hearing of the case. He said that these are tactics of buying more time and if the Centre was honest in its efforts, it should have straight away sought the scrapping of the petition and not another date for the hearing. He termed today's developments as 'disappointing.' 

  • 12:02 (IST)

    Next hearing to take place in January second week

    The Supreme Court has now postponed the hearing till the second week of January in 2019, until the Panchayat polls are concluded. A final date on the hearing will be released later on the Supreme Court website. 

  • 11:59 (IST)

    Govt seeks adjournment citing local body polls in state

    The Supreme Court adjourned the case after Centre argued that the local body elections are long overdue in the state and Article 35A remains an emotive issue in the Valley. The apex court granted the request and postponed the hearing till January 2019.​

    Arguing the case, Attorney General said that the paramilitary forces are engaged in the preparations of upcoming Panchayat elections and therefore it would be difficult to maintain law and order in case hearing is held now.

  • 11:47 (IST)

    Supreme Court adjourns case till January 2019; third adjournment in a month

    The Supreme Court has adjourned the hearing on plea challenging constitutionality of Article 35A for the third time in a month, after the Centre requested the Supreme Court that the matter is very sensitive in the state of Jammu and Kashmir. The next hearing is in January 2019.

  • 11:46 (IST)

    Sardar Patel was kept out of negotiations while formulating Article 35A

    According to various accounts of the time when deliberations were on to introduce Article 35A in the Constitution, Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel was kept out of the negotiations while finalising a draft of the Article 35A. Instead, Gopalaswami Ayyangar, a minister without a portfolio, was tasked with finalising the draft bill along with then Prime Minister of Jammu and Kashmir Sheikh Abdullah. 

  • 11:34 (IST)

    Why is there a controversy over constitutional validity of Article 35A?

    Article 35A has been a contentious legislation ever since it was introduced. This was partly due to the fact that Parliament was bypassed when the President incorporated Article 35A into the Constitution. 

    As this article in The Hindu argues, Article 368 (i) of the Constitution empowers only Parliament to amend the Constitution. This is the first point of contention when a discussion on the constitutionality takes place. In bypassing the Parliament while introducing a new legislation, Jawaharlal Nehru left a loophole that remains partly unsettled till date. A Supreme Court judgment from March 1961 observes that the President may modify an existing provision in the Constitution under Article 370, however, it remains silent as to whether the President can, without even informing the Parliament, introduce a completely new Article. 

  • 10:40 (IST)

    Shutdown over Article 35A affects life in Kashmir Valley

    Life across the Kashmir Valley was adversely affected by a separatist-called protest shutdown to voice support for Article 35A. Joint Resistance Leadership (JRL), a conglomerate of separatists headed by Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Mirwaiz Umer Farooq and Yasin Malik called a complete shutdown on Friday to highlight support for the article.

    All shops, public transport, other businesses and educational institutions remained closed in Srinagar and other places in the Valley. Attendance in government offices, banks and post offices was badly affected because of non-availability of public transport in the city and other districts of the Valley. 

  • 09:36 (IST)

    Is Article 35A discriminatory towards women?

    While Article 35A is upheld as one of the pillars to the special status of Jammuu and Kashmir, its critiques argue that it is discriminatory against Jammu and Kashmir's women, because it disqualifies them from their state subject rights if they married non-permanent residents. But, in a landmark judgment in October 2002, the Jammu and Kashmir High Court held that women married to non-permanent residents will not lose their rights. The children of such women, however, don't have succession rights.

  • 09:31 (IST)

    What is article 35A?

    Article 35A of the Constitution is one of the legislation ensuring the special rights of the state of Jammu and Kashmir and it sresidents. The article empowers the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly to define the state's 'permanent residents' and their special rights and privileges. It was added to the Constitution through a presidential order of 1954 with the then Jammu and Kashmir government's concurrence. 

    The Article, often referred to as the Permanent Residents law, prohibits non-permanent residents from permanent settlement in the state, meaning, non-residents cannot buy immovable property, or take government jobs, scholarships and aid. 
     

  • 09:27 (IST)

    Supreme Court to hear plea challenging validity of Article 35A today

    A three-judge constitutional bench of the Supreme Court (SC) will on Friday hear a legal challenge regarding to constitutional validity of Article 35A which bars non-residents of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) from purchasing land in the state.

Article 35A hearing Latest updates: The Additional Solicitor General told the Supreme Court bench that though Article35A also relates to "gender discrimination" it is not the right time to hear the petitions.

The Supreme Court adjourned the case after Centre argued that the local body elections are long overdue in the state and Article 35A remains an emotive issue in the Valley. The apex court granted the request and postponed the hearing till January 2019.

Supreme Court has adjourned the hearing on plea challenging constitutionality of Article 35A for the third time in a month, after the Centre requested the Supreme Court that the matter is very sensitive in the state of Jammu and Kashmir. The next hearing is in January 2019.

An uneasy calm grips Jammu and Kashmir, despite shut down and protest calls from separatists, as the Supreme Court is set to hear petitions challenging the constitutional validity of Article 35A which bars on residents of Jammu and Kashmir from purchasing land in the state. Two such hearings have been adjourned twice this month.

Article 35-A, which was incorporated in the Constitution by a 1954 Presidential Order, accords special rights and privileges to the citizens of Jammu and Kashmir and denies property rights to women who marry those from outside the state.

The provision, which leads to such women from the state forfeiting their right over property, also applies to their heirs.

Political parties including the National Conference and the CPI(M), have moved the Supreme Court in support of Article 35A, that also empowers the state assembly to define "permanent residents" for bestowing special rights and privileges to them.

The dates for the local body elections in the state have not been declared yet, but are they likely to be held in September-end.

The Supreme Court of India. AP

The Supreme Court of India. AP

Separatists call for shutdown

Restrictions were imposed in Jammu and Kashmir's Srinagar on Thursday to prevent protests called by separatists in support of Article 35A. "Restrictions have been imposed in areas under the jurisdiction of Nowhatta, Khanyar, Rainawari, MR Gunj and Safa Kadal police stations while partial restrictions will remain in force in areas under Kralkhud and Maisuma police stations on Thursday and Friday.

"The restrictions are purely preventive in nature and have been imposed to maintain law and order," police said in a statement.

Separatist conglomerate, Joint Resistance Leadership (JRL), headed by Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umer Farooq and Muhammad Yasin Malik, has called for a complete protest shutdown on August 30 and 31 for protection of article 35A.

The article has been challenged through a bunch of petitions in the Supreme Court. The case is coming up for hearing on Friday before a three-judge bench of the apex court. Meanwhile, rail services between Baramulla and Bannihal towns have been suspended for two days.

The University of Kashmir has also rescheduled all entrance exams being held on Thursday and Friday for admission to various post-graduate courses.

Police and paramilitary forces have been deployed in huge numbers in areas placed under restrictions and also at other vulnerable places in Srinagar and other parts of the Valley.

Jammu and Kashmir government had sought adjournment

The Jammu and Kashmir government had approached the Supreme Court on Wednesday seeking adjournment of today's hearing in view of upcoming local body elections in the state. In a letter to the Registrar of the Supreme Court and circulated, M Shoeb Alam, the standing counsel for the state in the apex court, sought adjournment of hearing on five petitions scheduled for Friday, by a three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra.

The state "will be seeking adjournment in the matters on 31 August on account of the ongoing preparation for the upcoming panchayat and urban local body and municipal elections in the state of Jammu and Kashmir," the letter said. "The letter may kindly be circulated to the hon'ble judges so as to avoid inconvenience to them..." it said.

The apex court is hearing a bunch of petitions in the matter, including the one filed by NGO 'We the Citizens' seeking quashing of article 35A, which confers special status to permanent residents of Jammu and Kashmir.

With inputs from agencies

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Updated Date: Aug 31, 2018 13:23 PM

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