In a dramatic development a two-judge bench hearing petitions on the repeal of Article 35-A on the Constitution has adjourned the hearing.
A batch of petitions challenged the constitutional validity of the Article 35A. A Supreme Court bench headed by the then Chief Justice J S Khehar referred the matter to a three-judge bench.
A three-judge bench led by CJI Dipak Misra was supposed to hear the petitions but later it was reported that Justice DY Chandrachud was not going to be on the bench. CJI Misra said, “Article 35-A did not come in the Constitution a day ago and a two-judge bench cannot hear it.”
Misra said that the court will examine whether Article 35-A violates basic structure of the Constitution. Attorney General will be heard at length, CJI further added and adjourned the matter for two weeks. The CJI added that Article 35-A been in vogue for more than 60 years. “An argument about the strike by lawyers can’t now be a ground to speed up the case,” he said.
The three-judge bench will now hear the case on August 27. The court will then decide whether it will refer the matter to a Constitution bench and whether a five-judge bench should hear the plea.
Article 35A, 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.
Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah tweeted
Protecting #Article35A is a tacit acceptance that J&K’s future lies within the Constitution of India otherwise how would it matter if it were struck down or diluted?
— Omar Abdullah (@OmarAbdullah) August 6, 2018