Article 35A : SC adjourns hearing; to resume on 27 August

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The Supreme Court on Monday prorogued the hearing of petitions against the Article 35A which deems special rights to the residents of Jammu and Kashmir.

The bench constituting of CJI Dipak Misra, Justices DY Chandrachud and AM Khanwilkar have been hearing pleas against the validity of the Article 35A which grants special status to the state and people of J&K.

Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta representing the State of Jammu and Kashmir asked for an adjournment in front do the two-judge bench as Justice DY Chandrachud was absent during the hearing. He asked for an adjournment due to ongoing election preparations for rural and urban local body polls in the state.

Attorney General K.K. Venugopal, representing the Centre also sought an adjournment stating that an interlocutor is trying to have a dialogue with the State.

CJI Dipak Misra acquiesced to their request as Justice DY Chandrachud is on leave. He said, “The challenge to Article 35A is being heard by a three-judge Bench. The Bench will determine whether the case should be referred to a Constitution Bench. Today, as you see, the other judge is absent and so we have to hear the case another day.”

The two-judge bench decided to hear the case on August 27.

The CJI said that under Article 145, a challenge to any constitutional provision has to be heard by a five-judge Constitution Bench. He added that the Constitution Bench will decide whether “Article 35A violated ‘basic structure’ of the Constitution or not.”

Article 35A provides special rights and privileges to the permanent residents of Jammu and Kashmir whereas it forbids citizens outside the state from acquiring immovable property and state government jobs in J&K.

The Centre has been warned by several advisors about the consequences of repealing Article 35A. IAS officer Shah Faesal on Sunday threatened that if Section 35A was deemed unconstitutional, J&K’s relations will be broken with the rest of the country, reported FirstPost.

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