Afternoon Voice

Supreme Court postpones plea challenging Article 35A to January 2019

The Supreme Court on Friday deferred the hearing of petitions challenging the constitutional validity of Article 35A that empowers the state assembly of Jammu and Kashmir to define the state’s permanent residents and their rights. The next date for hearing on the matter is scheduled on January 19 next year.

Seeking adjournment, the Central government and the state administration had urged the court to hear the matter only after the state local body elections scheduled in December are conducted.

The next date for hearing on the matter has been scheduled for January 19 next year, Supreme Court advocate Varun Kumar said.

The matter was listed before a three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra along with Justice AM Khanwilkar and Justice DY Chandrachud.

Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta representing the state of Jammu and Kashmir submitted before the apex court, “All the security agencies are engaged in the preparation of the local body elections in the state.”
Attorney General of India KK Venugopal, appearing for the Centre, urged the court, “Let local body elections finish in a peaceful manner.”

Article 35A disallows people from residing in Jammu and Kashmir, buying or owning immovable property in the state, settle permanently, or get state government jobs.

Earlier in the first week of August, the apex court had deferred the hearing in the matter to the last week of August after both the Centre and Jammu and Kashmir administration had sought an adjournment of proceedings, citing ongoing preparations for local body polls.