Fresh plea in SC challenges 35-A

NEW DELHI, Aug 24:
A fresh plea has been moved in the Supreme Court today challenging the Constitutional validity of Article 35-A that empowers the Jammu and Kashmir assembly to define “permanent residents” for bestowing special rights and privileges to them.
The petitioner, a non-governmental organisation (NGO) ‘Ikkjut Jammu’, sought quashing of the provision which has been challenged by several others including civil society groups, individuals. There have also been petitions supporting the retention of Article 35-A of the Constitution.
The fresh petition, filed through advocate Sumit R Sharma, says that Article 35-A furthers “two nation theory which is against the theory of secularism”.
“It is an enabling provision for the creation of a theological state within secular territory of India. It ensures that the character of J&K’s Legislative Assembly shall remain Islamic,” the petition stated.
It added that Article 35-A provides absolute powers to the Jammu and Kashmir’s legislative assembly to infringe the fundamental rights of Indian citizens.
Article 35-A, which was incorporated in the Constitution by a 1954 Presidential Order, accords special rights and privileges to the citizens of J&K and denies property rights to a woman who marries a person from outside the state.
The provision, which leads such women from the state to forfeit their right over property, also applies to their heirs.
Several interlocutory petitions have also been filed in support and against of Article 35-A by various individuals and civil society groups. (PTI)