SRINAGAR, Sept 12: For-mer PCC president Prof Saifuddin Soz has said that the petition filed before the Supreme Court, seeking revocation of the Article 35-A of the Constitution of India has assumed further dimensions with portents of considerable importance to the J&K State.
In a press statement here Prof Soz said, ” RSS and its designs should not distract our attention from the fact that we live in a democratic country where a sound judicial system is in shape. Now, that another petition has been filed by some West Pak refugees in Jammu, before the Supreme Court, also seeking revocation of Article 35A, the people of the State should take notice of this development.”
In fact, the refugees want protection of their rights as permanent residents under Article 35-A. ” I think I must plead with the people of Jammu and Kashmir State to remain steadfast when the system wants to respond to the aspirations of certain sections of society including the refugees. Meanwhile, certain concerned citizens have sought clarification from me on why the J&K Govt had not implemented the Resettlement Bill that was declared to be a law by the Supreme Court of India,” Prof Soz added.
He further stated that the Constitution Bench comprising Justices Syed Shah Qadri, N. Santosh Hegde, S.N. Variava and Shivraj V. Patil ruled on November 15, 2001 that under the provisions of the Article 143, the reference made to the court 18 years earlier by the then President Gyani Zail Singh, be returned respectfully without any advisory opinion, as the Bill had become a law, as early as 1982 when the J&K Legislative Assembly had passed it for the second time and the then Governor had accorded his necessary assent to it.
The retiring Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, Adharsh Sen Anand was himself on board on this issue with the Constitution Bench. A prominent jurist Ram Jethmalani had led the team of lawyers from the J&K State, before the Supreme Court.
The national and international press had characterized this development as a victory for Dr Farooq Abdullah, the then Chief Minister of the State.
” These concerned citizens also asked my opinion on why the then Government did not adopt legal course when the Union had un-authorizedly rejected the Autonomy Resolution passed by the J&K Legislative Assembly. I explained that while people of Jammu had shown solidarity with Kashmir on both these Constitutional measures, the then State Govt hadn’t implemented these resolutions. My simple answer to these concerned citizens was that these happen to be the right questions and answers to these must certainly be sought.”