The Jammu and Kashmir government on Friday approached the Supreme Court, urging it to adjourn the hearing of petitions challenging the constitutional validity of Article 35A of the Constitution, which grants special rights and privileges to permanent residents of the state, PTI reported.
The matter is listed for hearing on Monday before Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud.
The government’s standing counsel in the top court M Shoeb Alam wrote to the Supreme Court registrar, saying the state was seeking the adjournment “on account of the ongoing preparation for the upcoming panchayat and urban local body and municipal elections in the state”.
A senior officer in the state’s law department told Kashmir Reader that the government had sought the adjournment “in view of a possible law-and-order situation”.
Meanwhile, the National Conference filed an intervention plea in the top court on Friday, requesting that it be included as a respondent in the case. This came a day after a high-level delegation of the party met Governor NN Vohra and informed him about their concerns on the matter, reported Greater Kashmir.
The Jammu and Kashmir unit of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) has also moved the top court in support of the law.
Former Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on Friday said that fiddling with the state’s special status would have “catastrophic ramifications” for the entire country. “Today people cutting across party lines and other affiliations are united in their fight against any dilution of Article 35A,” she tweeted.
Article 35A was incorporated in the Constitution by a presidential order in 1954. It accords special rights and privileges to the citizens of Jammu and Kashmir and denies property rights to women who mary people from outside the state. The provision also applies to their heirs.