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Hue and Cry around Article 35 A

The Union government move seeking “larger debate” over Article 35A of the Constitution, which empowers the Jammu and Kashmir legislature to define “permanent residents” of the state and provide special rights and privileges to them, has triggered a political storm with several parties warning against any tinkering of the provision.

Article 35A of Indian Constitution:

• Empowers the Jammu and Kashmir state s legislature to define “permanent residents” of the state and provide special rights and privileges to those permanent residents.

• It is added to the Constitution through a Presidential Order, i.e., The Constitution (Application to Jammu and Kashmir) Order, 1954 - issued by the President of India, "in exercise of the powers conferred by" clause (1) of Article 370 of the Constitution, with the concurrence of the Government of the State of Jammu and Kashmir.

National Conference party has warned PDP-BJP ruling coalition of a public revolt over revocation of Article 35A.

Meanwhile Supreme Court has asked the union government to respond to a petition challenging the constitutional validity of Article 370 giving special autonomous status to J&K.

The petitioner has asked the apex court:
• To clarify if Article 370 was supposed to have lapsed automatically with dissolution of the Constituent Assembly of J&K on 26th January,1957.
• Whether the J&K Constitution which neither got the mandatory assent or approval of the President of India was valid.
The petitioner pointed to clause (3) of Article 370 which says, it was to the President to declare whether the Article should cease to exist or not.

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