The Supreme Court on Monday will resume its hearing on a batch of petitions, seeking the scrapping of Article 35 A in the state of Jammu and Kashmir. Earlier on August 6, the apex court adjourned its hearing after the state government moved an application to defer hearing of the case, citing upcoming panchayat and urban local body polls. The SC, however, will hear only lawyer and BJP leader Ashwini Upadhyay's fresh plea against Article 35-A and postponed the main hearing to August 31.
Article 35-A, incorporated in the Constitution by a 1954 Presidential Order, gives a special status to the people in Jammu and Kashmir, preventing non-locals from buying and owning any immovable property in the state.
The high-pitched socio-political drama started back in 2014 after We the Citizens, a non-governmental organisation filed a petitioned in the apex court, asking to abolish Article 35-A, stating that the law was "unconstitutional".
Meanwhile, there is unrest in parts of the Kashmir Valley as a three-judge bench comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra, Justice A M Khanwilkar and Justice D Y Chandrachud will be resuming the crucial hearing, which may tinker the special status of Jammu and Kashmir.
Separatist group - the Joint Resistance Leadership (JRL), comprising Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Mohammad Yasin Malik called for a two-day strike over the legal challenge against Article 35-A and warned of a mass agitation across Jammu and Kashmir in case of any “untoward decision” by the apex court.
In early August too, the normal life in Kashmir was thrown out of gear on a shutdown call by separatists, who have been protesting the government's alleged move to tamper with Article 35-A.
Various organisations, including the state bar association, transporters and traders' bodies also extended their support to the shutdown call. Different religious and social organisations gave nod to the separatist strike with an aim to "safeguard" the constitutional provision.