Chandigarh, February 24, 2019 :
What is article 35A?
The Constitution of India is applicable uniformly to whole territory of India. But Article 370 of the Constitution grants a special status to Jammu & Kashmir. It was added in the Constitution in the wake of the Instrument of accession signed between Pt. Jawahar Lal Nehru and Maharaja Hari Singh through Prime minister of Jammu & Kashmir,Sheikh Abdullah. This Article provides that Indian Parliament can legislate for the state in concurrence with the State Government of Jammu and Kashmir. Clause (d) further provides that the provisions of the Constitution shall apply to the State only subject to the exceptions and modifications as specified in the Presidential Order.
In 1954, Dr. Rajendra Prasad promulgated an Order exercising his power under the Article and notified article 35A which gave power to Legislative Assembly of Jammu and Kashmir to make law defining the classes who qualify to be permanent residents of the State and thereby acquire some exclusive rights which are not available to non-residents like right to employment, right to acquire property, right to scholarships etc.
Why is it Challenged?
The article is challenged by an NGO before the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India. The petition is based on the ground that the provision was never floated before the Parliament and was only passed as an Executive Order by the President. Moreover, it was a temporary provision. Apart from this, the article is alleged to be discriminatory, especially to women because it bars non-resident women who marry resident males from acquiring proprietal rights. Next hearing is fixed for 26th February,2019.
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