State for adjournment of Article 35-A hearing

Ishfaq Tantry

Tribune News Service

Srinagar, February 11

The Jammu and Kashmir Government has sought the adjournment of the hearing in a bunch of petitions challenging Article 35-A listed before the Supreme Court this week.

In the application moved before the Registrar General of Supreme Court of India by the Standing Counsel of J&K, advocate Shoeb Alam, the adjournment of the hearing into the “sensitive issue” listed between February 12 and 14 has been sought on the grounds “that there is presently no elected government in the state of Jammu and Kashmir and the State is under President’s Rule”.

Article 35-A, incorporated in the Constitution by a 1954 presidential order, provides special rights and privileges to permanent residents of Jammu and Kashmir and also bars people from outside the state from acquiring any immovable property in the state.

“The present matter involves a sensitive issue regarding a challenge to Article 35-A of the Constitution of India. A short reply has been filed by the State of Jammu and Kashmir in the lead matter (We The Citizens) and notices have not been issued in the other petitions. It will, therefore, be requested that the matter may kindly be heard when an elected government is in place,” the application read.

“The letter may kindly be circulated to the Hon’ble judges so as to avoid inconvenience to them,” it said.

It is for the second time that the J&K Government has sought the adjournment of the case. The apex court had on August 31, 2018, deferred till January the hearing on the pleas challenging the constitutional validity of Article 35-A after the Centre and the state said polls to local bodies in the state would go on till December.