As civil curfew crippled Jammu and Kashmir for the second day over repealing Article 35A, the Supreme Court on Monday adjourned the hearing on pleas challenging the constitutional validity of the law saying "two-judge bench cannot have a hearing". Petitions on Article 35A will now be heard in week commencing 27 August, said Chief Justice of India (CJI) Dipak Misra.
A three-judge bench led by CJI Dipak Misra was supposed to hear the petitions, but it later was reported that Justice DY Chandrachud was not going to be on the bench. CJI Misra said, "Article 35A did not come in the Constitution a day ago and a two-judge bench cannot hear it."
Misra said that the court will examine whether Article 35A violates basic structure of the Constitution. The attorney general will be heard at length, CJI further added and adjourned the matter for two weeks. The CJI added that Article 35A been in vogue for more than 60 years. "An argument about the strike by lawyers can't now be a ground to speed up the case," he said.
#Article35ADebate -- A 2-judge bench can't hear the matter, only a 3-judge bench can consider this case. #Article35A didn't come in the constitution a day ago, we can't hear it in one day. This will have to be argued: Chief Justice of India
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CJI said that the Supreme Court will hear the Attorney General of India as Jammu and Kashmir government "may not have much to say". The Jammu and Kashmir counsel has opposed the observation. Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Tushar Mehta and Rakesh Dwivedi replied, saying that the state has "a lot to say in this matter". "An argument about the strike by lawyers can't now be a ground to speed up the case," CJI said as the Jammu and Kashmir government demanded that matter be adjourned to December.
Earlier on Monday, the ASG had appeared for the Jammu and Kashmir government and sought an adjournment of the hearing.
Article 35A, which was added to the Constitution by a 1954 Presidential Order, accords special rights and privileges to the permanent residents of Jammu and Kashmir and denies property rights to a native woman who marries a person from outside the state. It also bars people from outside the state from acquiring any immovable property in the state. The main petition demanding to scrap Article 35A was filed before the apex court in 2014 by Delhi-based NGO 'We the Citizens'.
Several advisors in official positions have cautioned the Centre about the fiery reaction that might ensue in Kashmir if Article 35A ceases to be a part of the Constitution. Outspoken IAS officer Shah Faesal on Sunday said repealing of Article 35A of the Constitution would end Jammu and Kashmir's relationship with the rest of the country.
Several interlocutory petitions have been filed in support of Article 35A by various individuals and civil society groups seeking the continuance of the special status to Jammu and Kashmir.
With inputs from PTI
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Updated Date: Aug 06, 2018 21:48:20 IST