Article 35 A: ‘It is Mere Political Issue, Nothing Legal in It’



As Supreme Court has set a fresh deadline for Jammu and Kashmir government to respond to a petition challenging Article 35 A of the Indian Constitution by an RSS-backed organisation, the authorities here said that they were on it and will file the objections on time.

Sources said the motive behind the RSS-backed organisation for challenging Article 35 A was actually to pave way for abrogation of Article 370, which grants special status to J&K under Indian Constitution. “But we will do everything to defend the Article 35A at any cost. It is actually a political issue and there is nothing legal in it,” said a source.

Sources added that the Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed was apprised about the matter last week following which the state’s Law Secretary, Muhammad Ashraf Mir and Advocate General, Jehangir Iqbal Ganai, met the law minister, Basharat Bukhari.

Bukhari, according to sources, has directed the law department to get advice from legal experts on the matter before sending the response to the home ministry which had earlier sent notice to his ministry, seeking its views after the RSS-backed ‘Jammu Kashmir Study Centre’ (JKSC) challenged the constitutional validity of Article 35 A at the apex court.

Article 35 A, an “outgrowth” of Article 370 of Indian Constitution which gives special status to J&K, grants special rights and privileges on permanent residents of J&K and debars non-residents from buying land or property, getting a government job or voting in the Legislative Assembly elections.

Meanwhile, J&K’s Law Secretary Muhammad Ashraf Mir said that law department was working on the preparing a response to the petition. “We have time till November 3 and will file the response till that time,” he said.

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