Rumors of imminent abrogation of Article 35A of constitution is spreading like forest fire in the Kashmir Valley. Fear and uncertainty has gripped the state as there are speculations on rife that the central government is planning to repeal Article 35A which gives special rights to the ‘permanent resident’ of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K).Also Read,
Around 28,000 troops of Central Armed Police Force (CAPF) are being deployed in the valley as the residents might attack the army personnel. The centre has suspended the Amarnath Yatra and issued a circular asking tourists to leave the valley. Local people have started buying essentials as they are linking deployment of army personnel and suspension of Amarnath Yatra with law and order of the state.
Former Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir, Omar Abdullah, on Saturday met Governor Satya Pal Malik regarding the issue. After meeting him, Abdullah addressed the media and said that the centre has no plans to revoke Article 35A.
What is section 35A?
Article 35A of the constitution gives special rights to the residents of Jammu and Kashmir. The provision bars people from outside the state from acquiring any immovable property in the state. It also gives the Jammu and Kashmir legislature power to decide who all are ‘permanent residents’ of the state and confer on them special rights and privileges regarding employment with the state government, the right to scholarships and other forms of aid that the state government offers. Article 35A also referred to as Permanent Resident Law restricted women (belonging to the state) from retaining any property in the state if she marries a person who is a non-resident of J&K. According to Business Today, in 2002, a bench of Justices ruled that women who marry non-permanent resident of the state will not loose their ancestral property, however, their son may lose the ancestral rights.
When did the Article 35A come into force?
In October 1947, Maharaja (King) Hari Singh of Kashmir signed the instrument of accession with the Indian Government which specified three subjects: Foreign affairs, Defence and Communications. In March 1948, the maharaja appointed an interim government in the state, with Sheikh Abdullah as the Prime Minister. Sheikh Abdullah with his colleagues joined Indian Constituent Assembly and negotiated for a special status for J&K which led to the adoption of Article 370. The order was issued, under Article 370 (1) (d) of the Constitution, by then President of India, Rajendra Prasad, on the advice of the cabinet headed by Jawaharlal Nehru, who was the prime minister of India then.Also Read,
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Then why it is objected?
Two Delhi based NGO’s (Non Governmental Organisation), ‘We the Citizen’ and ‘Think Tank’, which belong to Sangh parivar have filed the petition against the Article. They have also challenged the validity of Article 370 which binds the state of Jammu and Kashmir to the Union of India. Under it’s provisions, the Parliament needs the approval of the Jammu and Kashmir government for applying laws in the state, except Defence, foreign affairs and communication. The case by ‘We the Citizens’ is being heard by three bench of justices in the Supreme Court.
Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) has been vocal about it’s intentions to scrap the two articles viz; Article 370 & Article 35A. The manifesto which was released during the Lok Sabha poll 2019 mentioned the party’s plan to curtail the articles. While delivering a speech in the Lok Sabha, Home Minister Amit Shah reminded the House: “(Article) 370 is a temporary issue of our Constitution, remember that.”Also Read,