New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Tuesday said it would take an “in-chamber” decision on listing of a petition challenging the constitutional validity of Article 35-A, which provides special rights to permanent residents of Jammu and Kashmir.
The petition filed by an NGO claims that Article 35A is illegal and that it was added to the Constitution without being brought before Parliament. The petitioner, Supreme Court lawyer, Charu Wali Khanna has asked for an urgent hearing in the case claiming it “affects the rights of children and women”.
Hearing the petitioner, the Chief Justice said that he would take a call later and give a decision in-chamber.
Article 35A became a part of the Indian Constitution in 1954 via as part of the deal between the Maharaja of Kashmir, Hari Singh, and the Republic of India. The article aimed to protect the privileges of Kashmiri residents.
According to the petitioners, the Article gives the President sweeping powers to add or change existing provisions.
In her petition, Charu Wali Khanna claims that the Article 35A is discriminatory against women since, under its provisions, if a Kashmiri woman marries a non-Kashmiri resident, she and her offspring lose the rights to own immovable property in the state.
Article 35A gives special rights to the permanent residents of Jammu and Kashmir and disallows people from outside the state from buying or owning immovable property there, or settle permanently or avail themselves of any state-sponsored scholarship schemes.