Supreme Court sends notice to State Government
A Delhi based organization has filed a petition in Supreme Court of India challenging the incorporation of Article 35A in Indian Constitution, which prohibits a non-state subject to purchase land or property, seek a government job or vote in Assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir.
Confirming it to CNS, Law Minister of Jammu and Kashmir, Syed Basharat Ahmad Bukhari said that State Government has received the notice from Supreme Court. “The case is at registry stage, we will prepare reply according to Constitution of Jammu and Kashmir,” he said and added that whenever the case would come for hearing, the Jammu and Kashmir government would take firm position according to J&K Constitution.
Reports said that the organization run by a couple of lawyers has the backing of Jammu Kashmir Study Centre (JKSC) that is the think tank of Hindu organization Rashtriya Swamik Sangh (RSS).
The Law Minister Syed Basharat Bukhari refused to divulge the name of the organization that has filed the petition in the Supreme Court. Reliable sources told CNS that the group of lawyers in their petition has prayed that, “Article 35A was added as a new article to the Constitution of India through an executive order in 1954, without knowledge of the Parliament. It was a process that appears to be completely against the very spirit of Indian Constitution,” the petition reads.
Secretary JKSC Ashutosh Bhatnagar told CNS that there is an organization that has challenged the incorporation of Article 35A in the Indian Constitution. “It was good step and in fact JKSC is also mulling to challenge the very article,” he said.
Bhatnagar claimed that, “Article 35A has resulted in gross human rights violations for last 60 years in the state of Jammu and Kashmir. We were expecting that Supreme Court will take suo motu cognizance of the issue. However, that does not happen, and now a group of lawyers have approached the Supreme Court. Our team of legal experts are also mulling to file a petition in the matter,” he said.
Pertinently, days before filing the petition, challenging the existence of Article 35 A, the RSS backed JKSC had organized a seminar titled, ‘Article 35A- A Challenge to Indian Constitution in New Delhi. Besides a group of Kashmiri Pandits, the seminar was attended by top BJP and RSS leaders. (CNS)