Fresh plea in SC challenges the constitutional validity of Article 35-A

NEW DELHI, AUG 24: A fresh plea has been moved in the Supreme Court today challenging the constitutional validity of Article 35-A that empowers the Jammu and Kashmir assembly to define “permanent residents” for bestowing special rights and privileges to them. The petitioner, a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) ‘Ikkjut Jammu’, has sought quashing of the provision which has been challenged by several others including civil society groups, individuals. There have also been petitions supporting the retention of Article 35-A of the Constitution. The fresh petition, filed through Advocate Sumit R Sharma, says that Article 35-A furthers “two nation theory which is against the theory of secularism”. “It is an enabling provision for the creation of a theological state within secular territory of India. It ensures that the character of J&K’s Legislative Assembly shall remain Islamic,” the petition stated. It added that Article 35-A provides absolute powers to the Jammu and Kashmir’s legislative assembly to infringe the fundamental rights of Indian citizens. (AGENCIES)