JAMMU, Aug 2: Terming Article 35-A as discriminatory, former MLC Vikramaditya Singh has expressed his reservations over deferring of hearing of five PILs by the Supreme Court on August 6th.
“Although it is a complex constitutional matter to be ultimately decided by the Supreme Court, as a citizen of India and a State-subject of Jammu & Kashmir, I have the right to express concerns on how the use of Article 35A of the Constitution of India adversely effects the public, especially the women of the State,” he said in a statement, issued here today.
Vikramaditya said that the procedural issue of bringing about the law relating to the Ordinance of 1954 by the then President of India that was not ratified by Parliament would be best left to the Judiciary and Supreme Court of India to decide along with the blatant violation of the right to equality, a fundamental right.
Terming Article 35-A as a discriminatory tool, particularly against the women of J&K State, he said it was unacceptable that while men may marry a woman from any part of India, oversees or even Pakistan, the women of J&K do not have the right to choose their life partner. “She risks losing her right to immovable property and inheritance if she marries a non-state subject,” he rued.
Vikramaditya said that he was shocked and disappointed that public figures from Kashmir region who are the first to raise human rights violations, failed to espouse women’s rights in the State and even publicly support this discriminatory practice. However, the former MLC added, there is nothing wrong in having State-subject laws with special rights for the people of J&K, provided the same laws are not used against people of the State. He further advocated reform measures or amendments to the Article to check arbitrariness in such laws and prevent the State Government from mis-using this tool.
Vikramaditya also alleged that Article 35A at the same time also blocks all possible ‘outside’ investments in the State in Tourism, Industry, Real Estate and Agricultural sectors thus restricting potential economic growth and employment opportunities. He strongly urged people of the State to open their eyes and question the validity and pitfalls of Article 35A.