NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Monday adjourned the hearing of petitions challenging the validity of Article 35A which empowers Jammu and Kashmir’s legislature to define ‘permanent residents’ of the state and provide special rights to them. The apex court has placed the matter for hearing on August 27.
The hearing was adjourned after one of the judges of the three-judge SC bench, justice DY Chandrachud, was absent. The court said that it will also decide whether the matter will be heard by a three-judge bench or five-judge bench.
Article 35A of the Constitution grants special privileges to the residents of J&K and bars people from outside the state from acquiring any immovable property in the state.
J&K Governor NN Vohra had earlier written to the apex court through the standing council of the state to defer the hearing scheduled for Monday. The state government had also filed an application before the Registrar of the Supreme Court, informing that it is going to seek an adjournment of the hearing of the petition in view of the “ongoing preparations for the upcoming Panchayat and urban local body and municipal elections in the state”.
Ahead of the hearing, separatist conglomerate Joint Resistance Leadership (JRL) had called for a two-day complete shutdown on Sunday and Monday. Shops and business establishments have been closed across the Valley while all kinds of transport remained off the roads due to the strike called.
Security forces have been deployed in strength at vulnerable places in the city and elsewhere in Kashmir to maintain law and order. Protests have been held across the length and breadth of Kashmir over the past few days with mainstream parties like the National Conference and PDP also holding rallies in support of continuing Article 35-A.