SC Sends Notice to JK On Article 35A

An RSS-backed think tank challenges the constitutional validity of Article 35A.
SRINAGAR: The Jammu and Kashmir government on Wednesday received a notice issued by the Supreme Court on a petition of RSS-backed think tank challenging the Article 35A of Indian Constitution.
An RSS-backed think tank called the Jammu & Kashmir Study Centre has challenged the constitutional validity of Article 35A, which, according to think tank, debars non-residents of J&K from buying land or property, getting a government job or voting in Assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir.
Confirming the report, Law Minister Syed Basharat Bukhari said that the State government has received the notice from the 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 as per J&K Constitution.
Bukhari refused to divulge the name of the organization that has filed the petition in the Supreme Court.
Reports said that the Delhi based organization run by a couple of lawyers has the backing of Jammu Kashmir Study Centre (JKSC) that is the think tank of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS).
Reliable sources said 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.
According to Secretary JKSC Ashutosh Bhatnagar 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 Constituion’ in New Delhi. Besides a group of Kashmiri Pandits, the seminar was attended by top BJP and RSS leaders. (CNS)  

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