SC to decide who will hear J&K status issue

The provision mandates that no act of the State legislature coming under the ambit of Article 35A can be challenged for violating the Indian Constitution or any other law of the land.

Attorney General K.K. Venugopal, for the Centre, has already cautioned the three-judge Bench led by the Chief Justice of India that the issue was a ‘sensitive’ one.

This three-judge Bench would decide whether or not to refer the issue to the Constitution Bench after hearing the final arguments on Monday.

One of the main writ petitions is filed by NGO We the Citizens, which challenges the validity of both Article 35A and Article 370. It argues that four representatives from Kashmir were part of the Constituent Assembly involved in the drafting of the Constitution and the State of Jammu and Kashmir was never accorded any special status in the Constitution.

‘Temporary provision’

Article 370 was only a ‘temporary provision’ to help bring normalcy in Jammu and Kashmir and strengthen democracy in that State. The Constitution-makers did not intend Article 370 to be a tool to bring permanent amendments, like Article 35A.

The petition said Article 35A is against the “very spirit of oneness of India” as it creates a “class within a class of Indian citizens.”

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