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Supreme Court to hear petitions challenging Article 35A from Feb 26-28, J&K tense



Supreme Court to hear petitions challenging Article 35A from Feb 26-28, J&K tense

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Petitions listed for hearing despite J&K government and Kashmiri political parties requesting for pleas to be deferred till elections are held in the state

Amid heightened tension with an ongoing crackdown by security forces and continued clashes between forces and militants after the massive February 14 Pulwama terror attack, the Supreme Court today (Monday, Feb 25) listed the hearing of pleas challenging the constitutional validity of Article 35A from February 26-28.

Article 35A (relating to the special rights and privileges enjoyed by Jammu and Kashmir) is widely seen in the state as being critical for sustaining peace, law and order in the Kashmir Valley. It empowers the J&K legislature to define the state’s “permanent residents” and bestow special rights and privileges on them.

The decision to list the petitions this week comes despite the counsels of the State, which is currently under President’s Rule, urging the top court to defer the hearing. Key political players in the State – Mehbooba Mufti’s PDP and Farooq Abdullah’s National Conference – too have repeatedly urged the top court to defer the hearings, arguing that the State must first go to assembly polls and that the government elected by the people can then decide the legal stand to be taken on these petitions.

While BJP and Narendra Modi government favour abrogation of Article 35A, viewing it as a permanent solution to Kashmir problem, even BJP ally and Peoples’ Conference president Sajjad Lone warned them against any tampering with the provision. Speaking to The Indian Express, Lone said that any change introduced to the special Constitutional character will only deteriorate the situation further in the state.

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Lone said that the if the Centre decides to fiddle with Article 35-A, it will be slaughter of the mainstream thought in the Valley. “You have to understand that these are Articles of trust, Articles of dignity. This is how India as a country is perceived here — will it or will it not stand by its promises? It would be the unluckiest day because that would be the death of mainstream thought here,” Lone told the daily.

“If they (Centre) want to slaughter the mainstream thought, they are most welcome but that is what they will be doing by tinkering with Article 35A,” he added.

The decision to hear the petitions against Article 35A comes at a time when the BJP-led Union government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi is under renewed pressure from the Hindu right-wing to take a firm stand in favour of the prayer to abolish the special status granted to J&K under the Constitution.

The Centre has, traditionally, been neutral on petitions that have challenged Article 35A and Article 370. However, abolition of these Articles has been high on the political agenda on the BJP and a long-pending election manifesto promise of the saffron party.

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In wake of the Pulwama terror strike, the Hindu right has once again become vocal in its demand for the Articles to be abolished and there have been indications that the Centre might finally take a decision that reflects the sentiments of its vote bank.

The Article has been criticised by the BJP as a provision that encourages alienation, deepens the concept of a separate identity and creates a political gap between J&K and the rest of India. “Article 35A is a constitutional mistake. It was incorporated through a presidential order and not through the parliamentary process,” said Surinder Amabardar of the state BJP last year.

Those in favour of retaining Article 35A fear that its repeal would lead to further erosion of J&K’s autonomy and trigger demographic change in the Muslim majority valley. Some political parties say the Kashmir resolution lies in greater autonomy, even as separatists fan paranoia about the possibility of Hindus ‘flooding’ the valley.

On Sunday, J&K governor Satya Pal Malik issued a statement urging people not to spread rumours and remain calm after the state administration issued many orders including supplying ration at the earliest, cancelling leave of doctors and policemen, rationing of petrol to the general public, leading to a war hysteria. The widespread arrests of Jamaat-e-Islami cadres and separatists contributed to these rumours.

Article 35A was added to the Constitution through a presidential order in 1954. The law prohibits non-permanent residents from a permanent settlement in the state, acquiring immovable property, government jobs, scholarships, and aid. Some also argue that the Article is discriminatory against J&K women as it rules out their state subject rights if they married non-permanent residents.

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[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text css=”.vc_custom_1551096653889{border-top-width: 10px !important;border-right-width: 10px !important;border-bottom-width: 10px !important;border-left-width: 10px !important;padding-top: 10px !important;padding-right: 10px !important;padding-bottom: 10px !important;padding-left: 10px !important;background-color: #c6c6c6 !important;border-radius: 10px !important;}”]Article 35A is a unique provision of the Constitution of India. It is a part of the Constitution, but does not figure in the bare Act! One does not find Article 35A after Article 35 in the Constitution. Article 35 is followed by Article 36. But, 35A can be seen in Appendix  i  of  the  Constitution.  It was conceived exclusively for the benefit of the State of Jammu and Kashmir through a Presidential Order issued in 1954. It empowers the Jammu and Kashmir State Legislature to define the State’s ‘permanent residents’ and their special rights and privileges. It was specially devised to save the State subject laws that had already been defined under  the  Dogra ruler Maharaja Hari Singh’s regime and notified in 1927 and 1932. However, this Article which came into force in 1954 without a place in the bare Act of the Constitution was unknown to the public. It came into limelight only when cases were filed in the apex court challenging its validity, thereby raising an intense debate.

TEXT  OF  THE ARTICLE:   ‘35A.  Saving  of  laws  with  respect  to  permanent  residents and their rights –

Notwithstanding  anything  contained  in  this  Constitution,  no  existing  law  in  force  in  the  State  of  Jammu  and  Kashmir,  and  law  hereafter  enacted  by  the  Legislature of the State

(a) defining the classes of persons who are or shall be permanent residents of   the State of Jammu and Kashmir; or

(b)  conferring  on  such  permanent  residents  any  special  rights  and  privileges,  or    imposing upon other persons any restrictions, as respects

i.Employment under the State Government;

ii.Acquisition of immovable property in the State;

iii  .Settlement in the State; or

iv.Right   to   scholarships   and   such   other   forms   of   aid   as   the   State   Government may provide shall be void on the ground that it is inconsistent with or takes away or abridges any rights conferred on the other citizens of India by any provision of this Part’.

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Farooq Abdullah, his son Omar Abdullah and Mehboona Mufti – all former chief ministers of J&K – have gone on record with their opposition to any attempt that will dilute Article 35A and Article 370.

In a series of tweets late Sunday, Mufti said:

“Valley rife with speculation about status of Article 35. Before taking a decision, GoI must consider –

  1. J&K was the only Muslim majority state that chose a secular India over Pak during partition. 2. Article 370 is the constitutional connection between J&K & Indian Union.
  2. Instrument of accession is contingent on Article 370 which is inextricably linked to Article 35 A.
  3. Any tampering will render Treaty of Accession null & void.
  4. Those frothing at the mouth & calling for its removal shouldnt blame Kashmiris for the developments that will follow such a hare brained decision.” (sic)

Reacting to the listing of the petitions in the Supreme Court from February 26 to February 28, and to unsubstantiated reports that the Centre might take a stand against the continuance of Article 35A, Omar Abdullah told reporters: “The Centre and Governor have only one responsibility right now and that is to hold elections. So, hold elections, let people take the decision, the new government will itself work towards safeguarding Article 35A.”

In October 2002, the J&K high court held that women married to non-permanent residents will not lose their rights. The children of such women however don’t have succession rights.

An NGO, We the Citizens, challenged 35A in the SC in 2014 on the grounds that it was not added to the Constitution through an amendment under Article 368. It was never presented before Parliament, and came into effect immediately, the group argued.

In another case in the SC last year in July, two Kashmiri women argued that the state’s laws, flowing from 35A, had disenfranchised their children.

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Responding to their plea, the apex court sent notices to the Centre and state in July 2017. Advocate General K Venugopal told the bench of the then Chief Justice of India (CJI) J S Khehar and Justice D Y Chandrachud that the petition against Article 35A raised “very sensitive” questions that required a “larger debate”.

On May 14, 2018, the SC deferred hearing on the petitions challenging Article 35A. The Centre told the bench that the matter is very sensitive and since the interlocutor is making efforts for a solution, the court should not pass any interim order at present as it would be counterproductive.

Representing the J&K government, advocate Rakesh Dwivedi said SC has already settled the issue by ruling that Article 370 of the Constitution has already attained permanent status. “In any event as the issue required interpretation of various constitutional provisions, let there be no interim order,” Dwivedi appealed to the bench.

Senior advocate Ranjit Kumar, counsel to a petitioner, countered and said: “It is a strange situation in J&K as persons from Pakistan can come and settle in the state under a law but those who have been staying for generations cannot even get a government job.”

The SC then deferred the hearing to August 6 then again to August 27 and then August 31, 2018.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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Udaipur-Jaipur Vande Bharat operators prevents major accident, notices stones, rods on tracks, hit emergency brakes

Giving the details about the train and the incident, the CRPO said, KM 158/18, 158/19 on the Gangarar-Soniyana section were the stopping points for Train No. 20979 Vande Bharat Udaipur-Jaipur.



Udaipur-Jaipur Vande Bharat

On Monday at Rajasthan’s Bhilwara, train operators of the Udaipur-Jaipur Vande Bharat Express noticed stones and iron rods on the railroad track and quickly stopped the train using emergency brakes.

The Chief Public Relations Officer (CPRO) of North Western Railway confirmed the incident and said that the RPF has opened a complaint under the Railways Act after personnel inspected the scene in the Gangarar-Soniyana section.

Giving the details about the train and the incident, the CRPO said, KM 158/18, 158/19 on the Gangarar-Soniyana section were the stopping points for Train No. 20979 Vande Bharat Udaipur-Jaipur. Two rods, each measuring one foot, were inserted into the joggle plate on the previously mentioned km, together with some ballast, which caused the standstill, he added.

The incident took place under the control of RPF/post/Bhilwara at about 09:55. The area is governed by SHO/Gangarar in the Chittaurgarh district, according to the CPRO.

DSC/Ajmer, IPF/Bhilwara, PWI/Gangarar, local Police, and GRP authorities all paid the location a visit. SP/Chittaurgarh has been informed by DSC/Ajmer. RPF has filed a lawsuit in accordance with the Railways Act. The PWI/Gangarar is also providing SHO/Gangarar with a FIR, the official continued.

Meanwhile, stones, rail fasteners and iron rods are seen being laid on the railway tracks in a video that is going popular on X, formerly Twitter.

Fortunately, the alert loco pilots on duty quickly identified the impediment and took prompt action by deploying emergency brakes, averting any potential disaster. Their quick action likely saved lives and made sure that everyone on board was safe.

The District Police and the Railway Protection Force are both aggressively looking into this worrying situation. Their efforts are concentrated on finding individuals accountable for putting lives at danger and interfering with railway operations.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the Udaipur-Jaipur Vande Bharat Express last month, which runs six days a week, except Tuesday. It departs from Udaipur city at 7:50 in the morning and gets to Jaipur at 14:05.

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India News

Karnataka Eid clash: 43 persons arrested in Karnataka’s Shivamogga district

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said the government is not going to tolerate people throwing stones on religious processions of other religions.



Karnataka-Eid-clash: 43 persons arrested in Karnataka’s shivamogga district

Tension gripped Karnataka’s Shivamogga district as two groups clashed during Eid e Milad un Nabi processions near Ragigudda. 43 persons have been arrested in the clashes on Monday. Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said the government is not going to tolerate people throwing stones on religious processions of other religions.

Section 144 has been imposed Ragigudda by the Shivmogga district administration. CM Siddaramaiah said the situation is currently under control. The police has arrested 43 persons. He added it is wrong to pelt stones to disturb the religious procession of others. He said the government is not going to tolerate such actions.

Milad un Nabi processions is usually marked by large gathering and celebrations. The procession was halted due to the chaos. The police said the protestors tried to breach the barricades set by the security forces. The police forces had to resort to a lathi charge in order to disperse the crowd. About five people were injured during the clashes.

Senior police officials said the situation was under control and the issue had been resolved. They appealed to the people to maintain peace and not spread rumours. Siddaramaiah said cases were being booked against those found guilty as pelting stones at another religious procession is against the law.

Siddaramaiah added Shivamogga city has been brought to normalcy again. All possible actions are being taken by the police force. The situation continues to be tense all over the city of shivamogga. The security arrangements have been tightened. The shops and the market has been asked to close down.

2500 policemen, two platoons of Karnataka State Reserve Police (KSRP), two platoons of rapid action force and 12 platoons of District Armed Reserve have been stationed across the city to thwart any untoward incident. The murder of Harsha, the Bajrang Dal activist which made national news had taken place in shivamogga city in February 2022.

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Lal Bahadur Shastri Jayanti 2023: History, Date and Significance

Shastri was a freedom fighter and a close associate of Mahatma Gandhi. He played an important role in India’s independence movement.



Lal Bahadur Shastri Jayanti 2023: History, Date and Significance

On 2nd October 2023, India also celebrates the birth anniversary of another great leader, Lal Bahadur Shastri. The day holds special significance as India remembers the legacy and life of the man who served as India’s second Prime Minister. Lal bahadur Shastri was born on October 2, 1904 in Mughalsarai, Uttar Pradesh. He is a symbol of dedication and selfless service to the nation.

Shastri was a freedom fighter and a close associate of Mahatma Gandhi. He played an important role in India’s independence movement. He was sent to the prison several times by the British government. After India got its independence in the year 1947 he served in many important ministerial positions in the government of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru.

Lal Bahadur Shastri was born into a lower middle class family. His father’s name was Sharda Prasad Srivastava who was also a teacher. Ram Dulari Devi was a house wife. He was born with the name Lal Bahadur Srivastava. He earned the title Shastri due to  his academic excellence. He was commited to education during his entire life. He went on to become not only a leader but also an academic and an activist.

Lal Bahadur Shastri showed unwavering dedication to the Indian National Congress political party. He served as the second Prime Minister of India from 1964 until his death in 1966. His tenure as Prime Minister marked a significant progress and change in India.

He held many important positions which included Minister of External Affairs and Railways. His tenure had many notable achievements which included signing of the Tashkent Agreement. The Tashkent aimed to ease tensions between India and Pakistan.

This diplomatic respect earned him respect on the global arena. Lal Bahadur Shastri gave the slogan Jai Jawan Jai Kisan which means hail the soldier and hail the Farmer. The slogan means emphasizes on the vital contributions of farmers and soldiers to the country’s prosperity.

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