Legal fraternity dismisses Modi's assurances to Mehbooba

Article 35 A

It is added to the Constitution through a Presidential Order, i.e., The Constitution (Application to Jammu and Kashmir) Order, 1954 - issued by the President of India, "in exercise of the powers conferred by" clause (1) of Article 370 of the Constitution, with the concurrence of the Government of the State of Jammu and Kashmir.

Normal life was hit in Kashmir and parts of Chenab valley in the Jammu region on Saturday due to a separatist-sponsored shutdown to protest the alleged "devious attempts" being made at the behest of Sangh Parivar to abrogate Article 35A and Article 370 of the Constitution that grant special status to J&K.

Speaking on the same, Singh said, "The coalition government in Jammu and Kashmir takes the agenda of the alliance and takes decisions".

After Rajnath Singh met CM Mehbooba Mufti, the Home Ministry officials said that that its law officers would be presenting legal aspects related to Article 35A only and would refrain from joining the case. Therefore, Article 35A is in direct violation of Article 14.

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The Supreme Court had last month asked the federal government to file a reply within three weeks in this regard. It allows the state legislature to define the "permanent residents" of the state, who would be entitled to own private properties in J&K.

The J&K Chief Minister, after the meeting, said, "Discussions on 35A have a negative impact on Jammu & Kashmir, it should not happen". Moreover, the Article 370 is part of the original constitution, and hence, the Article 35A also flows from it.

Kashmir is witnessing a political storm following the Attorney-General's suggestion to the Supreme Court in July "to have a larger debate on Article 35A" while it is being challenged by an NGO.

Complete shutdown orders have been given by the Hurriyat Conference and the Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front. Speaker Kavinder Gupta who calls himself a proud RSS man was quick to constitute a panel on the violation of special status provisions and senior officers of the Geology and Mining Department were suspended. The former chief minister advised Mehbooba to not only meet the Prime Minister, but other Central Ministers as well to reiterate the state's stance on the subject. While Ms Mufti's PDP is feeling the heat because its political existence is at stake, other leaders including from the opposition say any adverse decision would also go against their agreement of and support to accession with the union of India.