Article 35-A: Supreme Court adjourns hearing till January next year

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New Delhi | The Supreme Court on Friday adjourned the hearing of the petitions challenging Article 35-A till January 19 next year.

Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta who was representing the Jammu and Kashmir informed the court that all the security agencies in Jammu and Kashmir are busy preparing for local elections. Therefore, the proceedings of the case should be forwarded. Similarly, KK Venugopal, appearing in the court on behalf of the Center, has also demanded the hearing on Section 35A after the Panchayat elections in Jammu and Kashmir.

Responding to the argument filed by lawyers, Jammu and Kashmir Government demanding an adjournment of the hearing, the bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud agreed to schedule the hearing the hearing after the local body election. The Panchayat elections are likely to be held in the month of September.

The apex court earlier postponed the petition filed by Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) member and lawyer Ashwini Upadhyay demanding the abolition of article 35-A which grants special rights and privileges to the permanent residents of Jammu and Kashmir and scheduled the next date of hearing on August 31 along with other pleas.

NGO named We the Citizens along with Ikkjut Jammu and 3 other petitioners, had filed a petition in the top court demanding the abolition of Article 35-A on the grounds that it is unconstitutional and discriminatory. Article 35-A incorporated in the Constitution by a 1954 Presidential Order, disallows people from residing in Jammu and Kashmir, buying or owning immovable property in the state, settle permanently, or get state government jobs.

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