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J&K’s future: Article 35A hearing adjourned for three months

Article 35A provides special powers to the Jammu & Kashmir state government to determine the people who will be its permanent residents. It also empowers the state government to grant special rights and privileges to its permanent residents. Article 35A has been challenged in the Supreme Court and various petitions have been filed in this regard. Today, the Supreme Court adjourned the hearing of these petitions by 3 months. The center, on its part, had requested for the hearing to be postponed by 6 months. The petitions have been filed by some NGOs and it has been pointed out in the petitions that Article 35A was illegally adopted into the constitution. The allegation is that the Article was never discussed or approved by the Parliament. Based on this and other factors, the petitions have challenged the validity of Article 35A and have asked for the scrapping of the same.

During the hearing today, the Supreme Court adjourned the case by 3 months. The petitions are being heard by a bench of Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra and Justices AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud. Although, different organizations have filed the petition, they will be clubbed and heard together since they are essentially the same.

Instead of being routed through the Parliament, Article 35A was adopted into the Constitution through a Presidential Order passed in 1954. It gives broad powers to the state government, which defeats the purpose of democracy. It goes against the right to equality, which is a fundamental right in the constitution.

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