Muneer Ahmad Magry
Since past few weeks there have been repeated protests in the state against any change in Article 35-A and Article 370, with the state’s main political parties, other associations and establishments have unanimously supported and have come out in support of retention of Article 35-A and had warned of a massive agitation if Article 35-A is tweaked.
The main political party of the State of Jammu Kashmir National Conference has filed intervening application and had sought intervention in the ‘We the Citizens’ petition, saying that the challenge raised in the pending writ petition suffers from gross delays and latches and being raised after more than 60 years and cannot be maintainable.
In addition to this, more than 300 lawyers in Jammu region, on Friday, unanimously passed a resolution, seeking retention and strengthening of Article 35-A of the constitution that bars outsiders from settling in Jammu Kashmir.
Keeping view of the above backdrop, the hearing was slated on 6 August, but the Supreme Court on Monday adjourned the hearing on pleas challenging Constitutional validity of Article 35-A pertaining to Jammu Kashmir.
Petitions on Article 35-A will now be heard in week commencing August 27, as one of three judges in bench, was not present, but it can be noted here that:“CJI while referring to this matter said that two-judge cannot hear it as 35-A didn’t come in the constitution in just a day, so it will be argued.”
CJI also says that Article 35-A has been in vogue for more than 60 years. SC will hear arguments on reference.
Now if we rewind our memories to April 3, 2018 when the two-judge bench was hearing the petition filed by Kumari Vijaylaxmi Jha, who sought a declaration that Article 370 was a temporary provision, she also sought a declaration that the constitution of JK, was void, inoperative and breach of the constitution.
Referring to this the two-judge bench said that Article 370 is not the temporary provision. They apex court further added that in its earlier verdict of 2017, in SARFAESI case it has been already held that Article 370 was not a temporary provision.
Keeping in view the above, it is evident that Article 370 is not a temporary provision, it has decades of legal existence so the abrogation is impossible.
Now, the question arises what was a need to file a petition again by an NGO when hitherto Supreme Court has said that it is not the temporary provision and its abrogation is impossible, this whole interlude is summing up this issue has a certain political overtone.
There are some political outfits who are backing the tinkering of the same as this can be the election campaign material for them, these establishments have already utilized Babri Masjid issue for their political benefits.
It is well known to all of us that they have reaped a productive crop out of this issue subsequently, and now as the general elections are commencing in next few months the same fold will utilize the 35-A and will have claims that see we challenged the same in the Supreme Court and we will bring stars and moon down from the sky.
These fake election tactics are only saviours for such folds, as they don’t have achievements in their kitty; the tall promises made have turned null and void.
Unfortunately, some of our own people are party to this misdeed, it is ironic to see that some of the elected representatives whose political foundations are based on pro-Kashmiri, pro-people are absconding, they have not uttered a single word. They have gone into hibernation; they only think their ways, self and individual benefits.
The deferring of 35-A hearing till August 27, is also postulating that this issue may be turned as that of Babri Masjid Issue, no concrete solution only hearing deferments and will continue to be the election campaign material for these aforesaid political folds.
This is their guile instincts which promulgates these political outfits to utilize such critical issues as their election campaign material without tendering about the sentiments of JK people.
Such mischievous are only troubling people of the state, the whole exercise is making people of state restless, the people are unanimous all out on roads from last few weeks, causing economic losses to the state, mental trauma and exploitations, rise in youth misalignment, educational institution losses etc.
There is need to be unanimous, consentient and united while dealing with such issues, and it was well seen and noticed that irrespective of political attachments and ideologies we all were unified and united.
Author is a research scholar at Deakin University Australia