Millennium Post

West Pakistan refugees in J&K move SC challenging Article 35A

New Delhi: Some refugees of West Pakistan, who had migrated to India during the 1947 partition, have moved the Supreme Court challenging Article 35A of the Constitution relating to special rights and privileges of permanent residents of Jammu and Kashmir.

The petition said there were around 3 lakh refugees from West Pakistan but those settled in Jammu and Kashmir have been denied the rights gauranteed under Article 35A which are given to the original residents of the state.

A bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud tagged the plea of the refugees, who are settled in the Kathua district of Jammu and Kashmir, with the similar matters pending before it.

The apex court had, on the request of Jammu and Kashmir government, posted the matters challenging Article 35A for hearing after Diwali holidays.

Article 35A, which was added to the Constitution by a Presidenial Order in 1954, accords special rights and privileges to citizens of Jammu and Kashmir. It also empowers the state's legislature to frame any law without attracting a challenge on grounds of violating the Right to Equality of people from other states or any other right under the Indian Constitution.

Earlier, a Kashmiri Pandit woman, Dr Charu Wali Khanna, had approached the apex court challenging the provision.

Petitioners Kali Das, his son Sanjay Kumar and one other in their plea have said that they were raising issues seeking conferment of basic natural and human rights which at present were denied to them.

NC team calls on Rajnath, raises issue of Article 35A

Srinagar: A delegation of the opposition National Conference, led by former chief minister Omar Abdullah, on Sunday conveyed to Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh the party's concern over the Centre's ambiguity in defending Jammu and Kashmir's special status under Article 35A of the Constitution.
"While highlighting the political, historical and constitutional context of the state's special status, Omar registered the party's concern and disappointment over the central government's ambiguity in defending the state's special status in the Supreme Court with respect to Article 35A," a spokesman of the National Conference said after the meeting. Omar also highlighted the "worsened and constantly deteriorating situation" in the valley.
The delegation also sought a sustained and open-ended political engagement with stakeholders in Kashmir irrespective of their ideology, and urged New Delhi and Islamabad to make sincere and sustained efforts towards resumption of a comprehensive dialogue on all outstanding issues including that of Kashmir, the spokesman said.
He said the party delegation also reiterated its struggle for the restoration of autonomy and asked the central government to initiate a process of reversing "erosions" made to the state's autonomy that had been violated by extending various hitherto inapplicable central laws to the state, the Goods and Services Tax (GST) being the most recent example.
Meanwhile, party representatives in the delegation from Leh and Kargil, Phuntsog Wangdan Shunu and Aga Syed Abbas Rizvi respectively, highlighted pressing issues in Leh and Kargil.

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