The Supreme Court on Monday, August 6, adjourned the hearing of a clutch of petitions challenging the validity of Article 35A of the Constitution, which empowers Jammu and Kashmir assembly to define permanent residents of the state and provides special rights and privileges to them. The top court has placed the hearing of the matter on August 27. The hearing was adjourned after one of the judges, DY Chandrachud of the three-judge the apex court bench was not present, as reported by zeenews.india.com.
Meanwhile, a complete shutdown was witnessed in the Valley which was given by separatists leaders compromising Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Yasin Malik, against petitions seeking to scrap Article 35A. The shutdown was also backed by a top religious body of Kargil, Jamiat Ulami Asna Asharia, asking people in the Ladakh region to come in support of the controversial Article.
Protests were also held in Chenab Valley, Pir Panjal Valley of Jammu region, where locals called for the retention of the Article. Media reports say, that the state government has also suspended the Amarnath Yatra and pilgrims were not allowed to move from Jammu to Srinagar.
A Delhi-based NGO We the Citizen has challenged Article 35A. In its petition, it argues that the Article goes against ‘the very spirit of oneness of India’ as it creates a ‘class within a class of Indian citizens’.
Another petition which is filed by lawyer Charu Wali Khanna, says that the Article 35A discriminates against a woman’s right to property.
Meanwhile, the ex-Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir Mehbooba Mufti had earlier warned that if Article 35A is scrapped, there won’t be anyone left in the Valley to carry the Tricolour.