NEW DELHI — The Supreme Court on Friday deferred the hearing on a bunch of petitions challenging Article 35A of the Constitution, which protects the state subject laws and special rights and privileges of J&K’s permanent residents, as the Centre urged the court to take up matter after the Panchayat elections in the state.
The elections spread over eight phases will conclude in December.
A bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra, Justice M. Khanwilkar and Justice D.Y. Chandrachud deferred the hearing till the second week of January as Attorney General K.K. Venugopal told the court that it was a sensitive issue and could have a bearing on the Panchayat polls.
He said paramilitary forces were in the state for the conduct of the election.
Pointing to the sensitivity of the issue, the Attorney General informed the court that there was a strike on Friday in the Kashmir Valley on the issue.
Section 35A, inserted in the Constitution in 1954 by way of a Presidential order, bars outsiders from settling in or buying immovable property in the state.
Article 35A was inserted into the constitution by a presidential order in 1954. The petitioners have argued that it was unconstitutional for this singular reason. The state is in an uproar over the move. A three judge bench led by CJI Dipak Misra is hearing the plea.
Earlier in the first week of August, the apex court had deferred the hearing in the matter to the last week of August after both the Centre and Centre-ruled J&K administration sought an adjournment of proceedings, citing ongoing preparations for local body polls.
Joint Resistance Leadership had called for shutdown on August 30 and 31 to protest attempts the scrap the legislation.