Deepmala Sharma 0

Revoking of Article 35A

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Article 35A of the constitution empowers J&K legislature to define state's "permanent residents" and their special rights and privileges . It was added to the constitution through a presidential order of 1954 with the then J&K government's concurrence. It empowers its legislature to frame any law without attracting a challenge on grounds of violating right to equality of people from other states or any other right under the Indian Constitution.
* Through 1927 and 1932 notifications, Dogra ruler of the princely state of J&K, Maharaja Hari Singh imposed a law that defined state subjects and their rights. The law also regulated migrants to the state. J&K joined India through instrument of accession signed by its ruler Hari Singh in October 1947.
* After J&K's accession, popular leader Sheikh Abdullah took over reins from Dogra ruler. In 1949, he negotiated J&K's political relationship with New Delhi, which led to the inclusion of Article 370 in the Constitution.
* Article 370 guarantees special status to J&K,restricting Union's legislative powers over three areas: defence, foreign affairs and communications.
* However, under the 1952 Delhi Agreement between Abdullah and Nehru, several provisions of the Constitution were extended to J&K via presidential order in 1954. Article 35A was inserted then.
* J&K's Constitution was framed in 1956. It retained Maharaja's definition of permanent residents: All persons born or settled within the state before 1911 or after having lawfully acquired immovable property resident in the state for not less than ten years prior to that date. All emigrants from Jammu and Kashmir, including those who migrated to Pakistan, are considered state subjects. The descendants of emigrants are considered state subjects for two generations.
* Permanent residents law prohibits non-permanent residents from permanent settlement in the state, acquiring immovable property, govt jobs, scholarships and aid.
* It was also interpreted as discriminatory against J&K women. It disqualified them from their state subject rights if they married non-permanent residents. But, in a landmark judgment in October 2002, J&K high court held that women married to non-permanent residents will not lose their rights. The children of such women don't have succession rights.
We, the undersigned, call on the Supreme Court of India to revoke Article 35 A which was added to the Constitution by a Presidential Order in 1954 which violates the
i) complete basic structure of Indian Constitution
ii) fundamental rights of Indian Citizens
iii) rights of West Refugees and Valmikis living in J&K from last 60-70 years
iv) It does not allow people from outside the state of Jammu & Kashmir to work, settle or own property in the state.
v) The provision is Gender discriminatory as the rules discriminate against Jammu & Kashmir women by restricting their choice of partners in marriage. If the husband doesnot hold a permanent resident certificate, the subsequent rights are denied to the children.
Above all Article 35A was not a part of original Constitution but was added later by a presidential order of 1954.
Article 370 is another matter of discussion as it is not permanent but a temporary clause.
It is a clear violation of Fundamental rights and basic structure of Indian Constitution which was made clear by Honourable Supreme Court of India by its landmark judgement in Keshavanand Bharti Judgement that is why we the citizens of India want it to be revoked.

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