J&K former minister Tariq Karra moves SC to defend Article 35 A as private party

KASHMIR, Aug 25 : Former J&K Finance Minister Tariq Hameed Karra on Friday approached the Supreme Court to defend Article 35A of the Constitution, relating to special rights and privileges of permanent residents of the state, as a private party.  Karra said the apex court has accepted his application that was presented by Ashok Mathur (advocate on record). The petition, he said, was contested by former Home minister and senior advocate P Chidambaram and a few other lawyers.

The J&K government also approached the Supreme Court with a plea to hear the Article 35 A case in which two petitions have challenged the constitutional validity of this provision that gives J&K residents special rights and privileges, after Diwali. A bench headed by Justice J S Khehar accepted the J&K state’s plea and the case will be now heard after Diwali.

Karra, who was one of the founding members of People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and a close associate of Mufti Mohammad Sayeed left the party after it formed an alliance with the BJP in J&K.

The Supreme Court had earlier said that a three-judge bench will hear the case and indicated that if necessary it can be sent to a five-judge bench.

Karra’s intervention is the first such defence by a private party from J&K in the case. Sources said that atleast two more interventions by private parties to defend the constitutional provision are being made in the case.

In a statement, Karra said that “PDP’s chest beating” is “just a rhetoric and public posturing, without any sincerity”. “ It (PDP) is suffering with optical illusion of regaining its lost ground, day dreaming for saving itself form public wrath and is fantasizing to become the martyrs. The very fact that the Government of India did not file objections to the petition challenging Article 35A & Attorney General’s out of turn & politically motivated stand on it in the court stands testimony to the nefarious designs of the Right wingers & has once more proved the people’s perception correct about PDP of its betrayal & ill-gotten loaves of power,” he said.

“And this could provide a fertile ground and facilitation for the neighboring country for intensifying armed intrusion, which ultimately could turn into a full fledge war which would this time be presumably backed by few world powers who in the present world order of realignment of forces have direct stakes in adversities in this part of the world and who are waiting in the wings,” he said. “Hence the political sagacity demands to exercise prudence in the matters of national interest which in any way should not be compromised for the sake of party interests or egotism. It is better to treat the roots than prune the branches,” Karra said.

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