Jammu and Kashmir DGP Dr. S P Vaid on Sunday quashed all the rumours of a probable ‘revolt’ within the police ranks if the Supreme Court scrapes Article 35A of the Constitution of India. Article 35A of the Constitution provides the Jammu and Kashmir state’s legislature to define the basis for granting “permanent residents” status and also gives them the right to provide special rights and privileges to the residents. DGP S P Vaid said that there was no authenticity in the news of an impending ‘revolt’ which was being pushed around by a certain section of the media. He further went on to add that the J&K police force was a highly professional force for whom “Duty comes first”. Some media houses had indeed been pushing out news that the government had received intelligence reports which suggested a probable ‘revolt’ from the Jammu and Kashmir police ranks if the controversial state subject law was tampered with by the apex court.
The articles which had carried out these rumours had quoted the Director General of Police admitting to knowledge of the rumours surrounding disgruntlement within the police ranks. DGP Vaid has chosen the right time to quash these rumours as these news portals would have otherwise gone ahead and made a mountain out of a molehill. He went on to add that the standing council of the State government had submitted in writing to the Supreme Court a request to defer the hearing on Article 35A. He also made the stand of the police on the matter clear by stating that the police had no problem with people who were carrying out “peaceful protests’ on the issue. The state government has petitioned the apex court to defer hearings on the issue till the local body and panchayat elections are successfully held in October. The hearings on this issue had already been deferred last year by the Supreme Court after the centre had informed them of the appointment of an interlocutor to hold negotiations with the various stakeholders from the state.
The Kashmir valley remained in a state of complete lockdown owing to the call given by Joint Resistance Leadership (JRL) which comprised of Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Mohammad Yasin Malik. In recent development the apex court has listed the matter for hearing in the week commencing 27th August. The bench comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justice A M Khanwilkar said that the matter has to be heard by a three judge bench and since Justice D Y Chandrachud was not available the hearings had to be adjourned. CJI Misra remarked that the apex court will have to decide whether the Article 35A goes against the basic structure of the Constitution. The article which was incorporated in the Constitution by a 1954 Presidential order and was enacted without even taking the Parliament in the loop, is being contested by a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by an NGO, We the citizens. The petition filed challenges the validity of both Article 35A and Article 370 of the Constitution of India, it contests that Article 35A is against the “very spirit of oneness of India” as it creates a “class within a class of Indian citizens”.