Article 35A explained

Article 35A has a close relationship with Article 370

GN Bureau | August 8, 2017


#Article 35 A   #Jammu and Kashmir  
(Photo: Arun Kumar)
(Photo: Arun Kumar)

Article 35 A gives the Jammu and Kashmir legislature special power to frame laws to give privileges and rights to the residents of the state.
 
Former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Farooq Abdullah is upset with what he sees as an attempt change the demographic composition of the Kashmir Valley in the wake of a PIL challenging Article 35A in the supreme court, reported India Today
 
Article 35A is closely linked to Article 370 which grants special status to the state of Jammu and Kashmir.
 
The contentious article 35A entitles the Jammu and Kashmir assembly to define permanent residents of Jammu and Kashmir.
 
Article 35A http://jklaw.nic.in/constitution_jk.pdf says: “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 no law hereafter enacted by the Legislature of the State,-
 
  1. defining the classes of persons who are, or shall be permanent residents of the State of Jammu and Kashmir; or
  2. conferring on such permanent residents any special rights and privileges or imposing upon other persons any restrictions as respects-
  • employment under the State Government;
  • acquisition of immovable property in the State;
  • settlement in the State; or
  • 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."
It means permanent resident is a person who was a state subject on May 14, 1954 and has “lawfully acquired immovable property in the state”.
 
An outsider can neither buy property in the state nor get a job in the Jammu and Kashmir government.
 
Times of India said that Article 35A was interpreted as discriminatory against J&K women. It disqualified them from their state subject rights if they married non-permanent residents. But, in a landmark judgment in October 2002, J&K high court held that women married to non-permanent residents will not lose their rights. The children of such women don't have succession rights.
 
Mehbooba Mufti has already warned against making changes to Article 35A.
 
“Any tinkering with the article will not be acceptable. I will not hesitate in saying that nobody will even carry the corpse of the national flag in Kashmir [if the article is scrapped]. Let me make this very clear,” she was quoted as saying.
 

 

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