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Why is Kashmir Civil Society Threatening Supreme Court on Article 35A?

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Threatening Supreme Court on Article 35A wrong: Arun

An organisation going by the name of Kashmir Civil Society has been campaigning against the abrogation of Article 35-A. How many members from the Dogra community or from among Ladakhis are its members? Are Shias of Kargil, Buddhists of Leh or Hindus from the Jammu region participating in its meetings?

These are questions that need to be asked and answered by the so-called KCS members which are a Kashmir Valley based organisation. They have no presence anywhere else barring Srinagar and lack a representative character. They do not represent all public opinion on Article 35-A in the state, BJP spokesperson Arun Kumar Gupta said here on Thursday.

It is amusing and also ridiculous that they were discussing an “organised movement’’ against the abolition of Article 35-A with Farooq Abdullah on Wednesday.  They should, as also Dr Abdullah, know very well that the issue is in the Supreme Court, sub judice, he pointed out. How can they try to exert pressure and threaten the highest court of the country?

The decisions in the Supreme Court are taken based on legal arguments, pleadings before it and not street demonstrations. Or the threat of street demonstrations and trying to intimidate the judges to try to influence them in some way. Dr Abdullah has been a Chief Minister more than once ad understands the separation of powers that our country follows.

Judiciary, legislature and the executive are supreme in their respective domains. Of all of them, judiciary is at the apex as it deals with questions pertaining to legislature and executive as well, Mr Gupta said. Trying to influence the decision of the highest court of law by threats of “organised movement’’ needs to be condemned in strong words, he said.

In the cases pertaining to Article 35-A, the Supreme Court has to give its opinion on whether it is constitutional or not. If it is declared unconstitutional in view of treating Male Permanent Residents and Female Permanent Residents differently, it will be struck down. On the other hand, if the provision has some legal backing, the Supreme Court decision may be different, he pointed out.

In the case of J&K State versus Dr Susheela Sawhney, the J&K High Court had said: There is no provision in the Notification 1-L/84 dated 20th April, 1927 or in the constitution of Jammu and Kashmir that on marriage with a non permanent resident, the daughter of a permanent resident shall lose her status as a permanent resident of the state.

The court had further said: No law defining the classes of person who are or shall be the permanent residents of the state has so far been enacted by the state Legislature in exercise of its power under Section 8 of the state constitution.

Whatever is being done at present, depriving Female Permanent Residents their Fundamental Rights, is being done without any law. This is the issue before the apex court and it has to pronounce its verdict on this aspect, Gupta said.

Some other political leaders, of the National Conference (NC) and the Congress are also trying to create confusion among the masses. They are claiming that the Dogras and the Ladakhis will lose in the state first of all, he said. These claims are a clear attempt to raise a bogey of fear and create ill-will against the Supreme Court. They should educate the masses constructively and enjoin them to await the decision of the apex court, he asked these leaders.

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