New Delhi: Petitions challenging the constitutional validity of Article 35A (which gives special right to people of Jammu and Kashmir) are unlikely to be heard by the Supreme Court at least till Tuesday. The matter is reportedly not listed on Monday or Tuesday and hence could be taken up in the final list for the rest of the week.
A couple of weeks ago, when it (Article 35A) was listed in the weekly list, Jammu and Kashmir standing counsel Advocate Shoeb Alam had approached the Supreme Court seeking adjournment of the hearing. In a letter to the Registrar of the apex court, standing counsel for the state M Shoeb Alam had asserted hat the state will be seeking adjournment as and when the matter comes up for hearing there won’t be any elected government in the state and it is under President’s rule.
Last year on August 31, a bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra, Justice M. Khanwilkar and Justice D.Y. Chandrachud deferred the hearing on a bunch of petitions challenging Article 35A of the Constitution, as the Central government urged the court to take up the matter after Panchayat elections in Jammu and Kashmir.
Article 35-A, which was incorporated in the Constitution by a 1954 Presidential Order, accords special rights and privileges to the citizens of Jammu and Kashmir and 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.
Meanwhile, people in Srinagar and other parts of the Valley went in for panic buying of fuel and food items on Saturday as rumours of the Centre being likely to favour abrogation of the Article 35 A spread through the day. Long queues of motorists outside petrol pumps and shoppers thronging provision stores to buy essential commodities were seen across the capital city yesterday.
Reacting to panic in the Valley, former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, in a series of tweets, said,”The administration needs to take steps to reduce this sense of panic. People are wound tight with worry & the speculation on some TV news channels is contributing to this as well. Let’s hope someone in the government is listening.”
“People in the valley, especially the cities & towns, are taking everything said or done as a sign that some big trouble is just as around the corner. People are hoarding food & fuel. Some government orders are adding to the sense of panic,” he added.
In another tweet, Omar Abdullah said that the state chief of his National Conference has spoken to Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh to brief him about “the sense of panic that is prevailing in the valley at the moment” and requested the Centre to step in with a statement and steps that “reassure people”.