Supreme court adjourns hearings challenging J&K special status

Even as there was complete shutdown in Kashmir on Monday, 6.8.2018, the Supreme court adjourned the hearing of petitions challenging the constitutional validity of Article 35A that grants special rights and privileges to permanent residents of Jammu and Kashmir. The bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud decided to  hear the matter next on August 27th of this month. The hearing was first adjourned in May.

On Friday, the J&K state government  had approached the Supreme Court, asking it to adjourn the hearing of the pleas, citing potential law-and-order problems. The National Conference  has also filed an intervention plea in the Supreme court on Friday, requesting that it be included as a respondent in the case while the state unit of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) has also moved the court in support of the law.

“Any attack on the identity of J& K under Article 35A will be rejected.”

Four petitions have challenged the legality of Article 35A on the grounds that it was never presented before Parliament and was implemented on the President’s orders in 1954, during the tenure of  Jawaharlal Nehru as Prime Minister of the country.. The pleas argued that the state became an “integral part of India” once it acceded to the Union, so there was no question of special status or treatment.

Meanwhile the total shutdown was called by separatist Joint Resistance leadership, who issued a joint statement that “any attack on the identity and distinctiveness of J& K under Article 35A will be rejected.”