The Supreme Court will be hearing a plea challenging the validity Article 35A from February 26 to 28. The decision comes amid growing indications that the Centre is considering a change on the issue.
The provision of the article included in the Indian Constitution in 1954 grants special rights and privileges to the people of the Valley.
Former Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir Mehbooba Mufti said, “Valley is rife with speculation about the status of Article 35A. Before taking a decision, the Government of India must consider that J&K was the only Muslim-majority state that chose a secular India over Pakistan during Partition,”
However, the former CM also sent out a warning in the aftermath of any ruling that goes against the interest of the Valley and said that “no one should blame Kashmiris for the developments that will follow such a hare-brained decision”.
National Conference leader Omar Abdullah also targeted the BJP government, questioning the handling of the state after coming to power at the centre.
Meanwhile, the Jammu and Kashmir government has sought an adjournment of the hearing on Article 35 A in the Supreme Court.
What is Article 35A?
1. Article 35A of the Indian Constitution is an article that empowers the “permanent residents” of Jammu and Kashmir State with special rights and privileges.
2. As per J&K constitution, “permanent resident” is a person who was a state subject on May 14, 1954, or who has been residing in the state for a period of 10 years, and has “lawfully acquired immovable property in the state”.
3. The Constitution (Application to Jammu and Kashmir) Order, 1954 was issued by President Rajendra Prasad under Article 370.
4. Article 35A was not added to the Constitution by following the procedure prescribed for amendment of the Constitution of India under Article 368.
5. Article 370 does not anywhere confer on the President legislative or executive powers so vast that he can amend the Constitution or perform the function of Parliament.