Cauvery row: Article 35A sensitive, Centre informs Supreme Court

Lester Mason
May 16, 2018

The petitioners have said that the Article 35A went against the fundamental right of equality under Article 14 of the Constitution.

Dineshwar Sharma, former director of the Intelligence Bureau (IB), was appointed the Centre's interlocutor for J& K on October 23 past year.

A PIL filed by the organization We The Citizens in the Supreme Court has claimed that any aspiring student in the state, who is not a permanent resident there becomes ineligible to appear for national exams such as NEET for higher studies, denying them the right to education.

The provision bars Indian citizens, other than those who are permanent resident of Jammu and Kashmir, from seeking employment, settling in the state, acquiring immovable properties or undertaking any trade or business if the state makes any law to that effect and it can not be challenged before any court.

"Your lordships have seen what is happening in Kashmir".

"This (discussion) is an ongoing process".

The three-judge Bench posted the case for August 6 to hear arguments.

Senior advocate Shekhar Naphade, also representing the state government, 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.

"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.

The NGO challenged the provision on the ground that it could only have been introduced through a Constitutional amendment under Article 368 and not through a Presidential Order under Article 370.

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 court while hearing a plea earlier by Dr Charu Wali Khanna, a Kashmir resident, had indicated that if the Article violated basic structure of the Constitution or was ultra vires, the issue may be dealt with by a five-judge bench.

The Supreme Court has deferred till August 6 two petitions challenging the constitutionality of Article 35A, which gives special rights and privileges to "permanent residents" of Jammu and Kashmir, after attorney-general K.K. Venugopal said the matter was "very sensitive". "The issue under challenge is already covered by judgments of the SC".

It says that more than 4,000 second, third and fourth-generation migrants from Punjab who were born in Jammu and Kashmir and have been living there permanently are not allowed to buy immovable property in the state.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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