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Special rights to J&K residents: SC to hear today plea against Article 35A

Special rights to J&K residents: SC to hear today plea against Article 35A
Highlights

They alleged the BJP government was working to sabotage the referendum process in the state and described the PDP, its ruling partner in the state, as...

The Supreme Court will on Monday hear pleas challenging Article 35A that grants special rights and privileges to permanent residents of Jammu and Kashmir.

Article 35A, added to the Indian Constitution by a Presidential Order in 1954, also empowers the state's legislature to frame laws without attracting a challenge on grounds of violating the Right to Equality of people from other states or any other right under the Constitution.

The matter has been listed before a bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandracud.

Earlier the apex court had favoured hearing of the matter by a five-judge constitution bench in case the Article is ultra vires of the Constitution or if there is any procedural lapse.

The Supreme Court had earlier said that a three-judge bench will hear the matter and refer it to a five-judge bench if necessary.

The apex court was hearing a plea filed by Charu Wali Khanna challenging Article 35A of the Constitution and Section 6 of the Jammu and Kashmir Constitution which deal with the "permanent residents" of the state.

The plea has challenged certain provisions of the Constitution that deny property right to a woman who marries a person from outside the state.

'Separatists threaten mass agitation'

Three separatist leaders on Sunday urged the people of Kashmir to launch a "mass agitation" if the Supreme Court delivered a verdict in favour of pleas seeking the repeal of Article 35A and said any effort to "tinker with" a state subject law will create "a Palestine-like situation".

In a joint statement in Srinagar, Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Mohammad Yasin Malik urged the people to "launch a mass agitation if the Supreme Court delivered a verdict against the interests and aspirations of the people of the state".

"Any move to tinker with a state subject law will create a Palestine-like situation," the leaders said.

They asked the people to prepare for protests against any change in the law that bars people from outside Jammu and Kashmir from acquiring immoveable property in the state.

"A conspiracy has been hatched to change the demography of the Muslim-majority state," they claimed and urged scholars and writers to make people aware of the consequences if the state subject law was repealed.

People from all corners of state will "come on the roads and resist" any attempt made to modify Article 35A, they said.

"We are watching the developments and soon a line of action and programme will be announced," they said.

They alleged the BJP government was working to sabotage the referendum process in the state and described the PDP, its ruling partner in the state, as "an ally of the RSS".

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