Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah on 11 September hailed Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh's remark on Article 35-A and urged the Centre to file a counter affidavit in the Supreme Court in the connection.
Taking to Twitter Omar Abdullah said, "This is a very important statement from the Union Home Minister. His assurance will go a long way towards silencing the noises against 35-A."
This is a very important statement from the Union Home Minister. His assurance will go a long way towards silencing the noises against 35-A. https://t.co/42lMiqLL4t— Omar Abdullah (@OmarAbdullah) September 11, 2017
Omar further urged the Union government must now file a "counter affidavit" in the Supreme Court to defend 35-A.
The Union government must now file a counter affidavit in the Supreme Court to defend 35-A. That is the way to carry this assurance forward. https://t.co/yo3QmOCNI5— Omar Abdullah (@OmarAbdullah) September 11, 2017
Earlier in the day, talking about Article 35A, Home Minister Rajnath Singh had said that the government will never take any step, which will hurt the sentiments of the people of Jammu and Kashmir.
"The Government didn't initiate anything on Article 35A nor went to the Court. I assure that the government would never take step which hurts sentiments of people of Jammu and Kashmir," Singh said while addressing the crowd on his three day tour to the valley.
Earlier on 23 August, Awami National Conference of Jammu & Kashmir chief Muzaffar Shah had said that the Supreme Court of India has no powers to fiddle with Article 35 A or Article 370.
The issue has come to the centre stage of controversy after the Supreme Court's indication that it may be dealt with by a five-judge constitution bench, to ascertain that, if Article 35A relating to special rights and privileges of the citizens of the Jammu and Kashmir is ultra vires of the Constitution or if there is any procedural lapse.
Article 35A of the Indian Constitution is an article that empowers the Jammu and Kashmir state's legislature to define "permanent residents" of the state and provide special rights and privileges to those permanent residents, while article 370 gives special status to the state of J&K in the Indian Union.
Article 35A was added to the Constitution by a Presidential Order in 1954 and accords special rights and privileges to the citizens of the Jammu and Kashmir. It also empowers the state's legislature to frame any law without attracting a challenge on grounds of violating the Right to Equality of people from other states or any other right under the Indian Constitution.
It has become a centre stage of controversy after a second plea was filed by Charu Wali Khanna, a lawyer and former member of the National Commission for Women, challenging Article 35A of the Constitution and Section 6 of the Jammu and Kashmir Constitution which deal with the "permanent residents" of the state.
The plea has challenged certain provisions of the Constitution which deny property right to a woman who marries a person from outside the state. The provision, which makes such women from the state to lose rights over property, also applies to her son.