NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court (SC) on Monday adjourned a scheduled hearing on PILs challenging the validity of Article 35A of the Constitution which prohibits non-permanent residents of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) from permanent settlement in the state, and from acquiring immovable property, government jobs, scholarships and aid there.
Chief Justice of India (CJI) Dipak Misra and Justice A M Khanwilkar said that a three-judge bench needs to determine whether this matter is required to be referred to a five-judge bench. Both the Centre and J&K sought an adjournment of hearing as a Panchayat election process is underway in the state.
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.”