SC defers hearing on petitions challenging Article 35A

The Supreme Court on Monday deferred the hearing of Article 35A that empowers the Jammu and Kashmir state legislature to define “permanent residents” of the state, by three months.

Centre told the bench that the matter is very sensitive and since the interlocutor is making efforts for a solution, the court should not pass any interim order at present as it would be counter productive.

Four petitions demanding to scrap Article 35A in Jammu and Kashmir were 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.

Former IB officer Dineshwar Sharma was appointed as the interlocutor for Jammu and Kashmir recently to come up with a solution for the long-pending Kashmir issue. The new interlocutor will be expected to find some headway towards finalising a solution before the Supreme Court hears the case again.

Senior advocate Ranjit Kumar, counsel to a petitioner, countered and said: “It is a strange situation in J&K as persons from Pakistan can come and settle in the state under a law but those who have been staying for generations cannot even get a government job.”

SC asked parties to complete pleadings in the case and posted it for hearing on August 6.

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