SC to hear petitions challenging constitutional validity of Article 35A

ANI | Updated: Oct 30, 2017 10:58 IST

New Delhi [India], October 30 (ANI): The Supreme Court on Monday will hear a clutch of petitions challenging the constitutional validity of Article 35A.

The petitions were filed by an NGO on grounds that politically contentious Article 35A was illegally added to the Constitution of India as the Article was never proposed before the Parliament.

Four petitions, which demanded the scrapping of the provision, have been listed before a bench of Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra and Justices AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud.

The main petition was filed by 'We the Citizens', a Delhi-based NGO in 2014. Three more petitions were also filed challenging the Article but were later clubbed with the main one.

The issue has come to the centre stage of controversy after the Supreme Court's indication that it may be dealt with by a five-judge constitution bench, to ascertain that, if Article 35A relating to special rights and privileges of the citizens of the Jammu and Kashmir is ultra vires of the Constitution or if there is any procedural lapse.

Article 35A of the Indian Constitution is an article that empowers the Jammu and Kashmir state's legislature to define "permanent residents" of the state and provide special rights and privileges to those permanent residents, while article 370 gives special status to the state of J&K in the Indian Union.

Article 35A was added to the Constitution by a Presidential Order in 1954 and accords special rights and privileges to the citizens of the Jammu and Kashmir. It also empowers the state's legislature to frame any law without attracting a challenge on grounds of violating the Right to Equality of people from other states or any other right under the Indian Constitution.

The issue has triggered controversy after a plea was filed by Charu Wali Khanna, a lawyer and former member of the National Commission for Women, challenging Article 35A of the Constitution and Section 6 of the Jammu and Kashmir Constitution which deal with the "permanent residents" of the state.

The plea has challenged certain provisions of the Constitution which deny property right to a woman who marries a person from outside the state. The provision, which makes such women from the state to lose rights over property, also applies to her son. (ANI)

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