The Supreme Court on Friday adjourned the hearing on the constitutional validity of the Article 35A, which empowers the J&K government to define the state’s permanent residents and their rights, till January next year.
The apex court said that hearing on Article35A would take place after December panchayat polls in the state.
“Supreme Court has deferred hearing on Article 35A, next hearing on 19 January, 2019,” Supreme Court Advocate Varun Kumar told the media. Earlier, Attorney General KK Venugopal said before the top court, “All the security agencies are engaged in the preparation of the local body elections in the state..Let local body elections finish in a peaceful manner.” A day before the hearing, on Thursday, Kashmir Valley and parts of Jammu region, meanwhile, observed a complete shutdown to protest against any “tampering” with the special constitutional rights of the people of Jammu and Kashmir. The matter was listed before a Bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud. The Jammu and Kashmir government had approached the Supreme Court seeking adjournment of hearing on Article 35A. Written by Jammu and Kashmir government’s standing counsel M Shoeb Alam, the letter seeks adjournment of the hearing on five petitions challenging Article 35A. 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 bars people from outside the state from acquiring any immovable property in the state. It also 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. Earlier, the apex court had adjourned the hearing on a batch of petitions including the one filed by NGO ‘We the Citizens’, through lawyer Barun Kumar Sinha.