Millennium Post

5-judge Constitution bench may hear plea against Art 35A: SC

New Delhi: The issue of Article 35A, which provides special rights to the citizens of Jammu and Kashmir, seems to be heading into a major controversy with the Supreme Court on Monday saying a constitution bench may examine whether it is gender-biased and violative of the basic structure.
Article 35A, which was added to the Constitution by a Presidential Order in 1954, accords special rights and privileges to J&K citizens and deny property right to a woman who marries a person from outside the state.
The provision, which makes such women from the state to lose rights over property, also applies to her heirs.
The apex court indicated that if Article 35A relating to special rights and privileges of the citizens of the Jammu and Kashmir violates the basic structure of Constitution or if it is ultra vires, the issue may be dealt with by a five-judge constitution bench.
It tagged a plea challenging Article 35A of the Constitution with a similar pending petition to be heard by a three-judge bench. "We really feel the issue should go to five-judge constitution bench," a bench headed by Justices Dipak Misra and A M Khanwilkar said.
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