New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday adjourned a batch of petitions challenging Article 35A of the Constitution that guarantees special privileges to the state of Jammu and Kashmir, till August 27.
A two-judge bench, headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra and comprising Justice A M Khanwilkar, said, “We would hear the matter on August 27, and on that day, a three-judge bench would determine whether the matter is required to be referred to a five-judge bench.”
Even though the petitioners protested against the court’s decision, the Kashmir administration has indicated that it may seek another adjournment.
The state government on Friday moved an application before the top court and sought to defer the hearing of the case citing upcoming panchayat and urban local body elections in the state.
Article 35-A of the Constitution bars people from outside Jammu and Kashmir to acquire any immovable property in the state. It also denies property rights to a woman who marries a person from outside the state. The provision also empowers the state legislature to define state’s permanent residents’ and their special rights and privilege.
Four petitions have challenged the legality of the law on the grounds that it was implemented on the President’s orders in 1954 without being presented before the Parliament. The provision appears as an “appendix” in the Constitution and not an amendment under the Constitution (Application to Jammu and Kashmir) Order-1954.
(With agency inputs)