The Supreme Court today said that it is open to hearing the petitions that challenge the validity of Article 35 A. However, the court said that it would hear such petitions after Diwali. The approval to hear petitions challenging Article 35 A was provided by a Supreme Court bench headed by Chief Justice JS Khehar. The bench also comprised Justice Dipak Misra and Justice DY Chandrachud. The court gave its approval while responding to pleas by senior advocate Rakesh Dwivedi and advocate Shoeb Alam. The advocates pointed out that even the central government did not object to the petitions being taken up after Diwali. “All the pleas will be taken up for hearing after Diwali”, the bench said.
Article 35 A appears to be archaic and regressive since it provides special rights and privileges to native inhabitants of Jammu and Kashmir. The Article 35 A was added to the Constitution via a Presidential Order issued in 1954. The Article gives the state government the power to frame its own laws and to remain protected even when right to equality may have been breached. It also bars women from right to property if they marry someone who does not have a Permanent Resident Certificate. This limits the options a woman has in terms of marriage. Based on such anomalies in Article 35 A, it has been challenged by various petitioners.