MyNation has reported that as per speculations and unverified reports, it is believed that the Modi government may repeal Article 35A of the Constitution of India, if the Supreme Court does not give a favourable order. Such speculation and apprehensions have come ahead of a crucial hearing on the constitutional provision before the Supreme Court of India. MyNation added that though the government is unlikely to take a final decision on the issue of Article 35A, the present sentiment across the nation might mount pressure on the Modi government to take a decisive step with respect to the fate of Article 35A after the Supreme Court gives its opinion about the impugned provision.
Article 35A of the Constitution empowers the Jammu and Kashmir Legislature to determine who all are ‘permanent residents’ of the state of Jammu and Kashmir and confer on the permanent resident so determined special rights and privileges in public sector jobs, acquisition of property in the State, scholarships and other public aid and welfare. The provision gives excessive powers to the legislature and mandates that no legislation coming into force by virtue of the impugned provision can be challenged for violating the Constitution or any other law of the land. The impugned provision, therefore, creates a special class of citizens within the ordinary citizenry of India. Last year, a batch of petitions came up before the apex court arguing that the law is unconstitutional and must be abolished. One of the main writ petitions was filed by NGO, We the citizens, which challenged the validity of both Article 35A and Article 370 of the Constitution of India. The petition stated that Article 35A was against the “very spirit of oneness of India” as it created a “class within a class of Indian citizens.”
The Supreme Court is now all set to hear the matter on Monday. As per MyNation, the speculation about the Modi government using the ordinance route if necessary is getting more reliable even as the Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) chief and separatist leader, Yasin Malik has been reportedly detained. As per Times Now, he has been detained in view of the hearing on Article 35A of the Constitution of India. Moreover, the Ministry of Home Affairs has ordered the deployment of 100 companies of Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) in the valley with ‘immediate effect’.
Yasin will stay lodged in Srinagar Central jail for the night. All separatists may be flown out of state.#Kashmir
— Anindya (@AninBanerjee) February 22, 2019
It is clear that in wake of the Pulwama terror attack, there is a nationwide sentiment to show Pakistan its place and also ensure that necessary corrective action is taken within the country as well. Article 35A is undoubtedly discriminatory towards the non-Kashmiri citizens of India. The provision not only violates the rights of citizens belonging to other states but is also gender-discriminatory and retrogressive in character. It denies property rights to a woman who marries a person from outside the state. The provision, which leads such women from the state to forfeit their right over property, also applies to their heirs. For the reasons as aforesaid, the impugned provision has no legs to stand on. The government should ensure that the country finally gets rid of it.