Article 370 pleas listed before SC today, Article 370, 35A, who said what

  • Abrogation of Articles 370, 35A way to resolve Kashmir problem: Amit Shah
  • No power can revoke Article 370, 35-A: Mir
  • Abrogating Art 370 will be saying goodbye to JK: Sajad
  • Won’t allow fiddling with Articles 35A, 370: Omar

Pleas challenging the constitutional validity of Article 370 which grants special status to Jammu and Kashmir are listed before the Supreme Court on April 2.

It has been learnt that the case “figures at item number 5 in the miscellaneous list of April 2” before a bench comprising Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, Justice Deepak Gupta and Justice Sanjiv Khanna.

“There is constitutional bench today (Tuesday) and if it continues without any break, then there is no chance for this case to come up for hearing,” a source said. “However, if the bench breaks for any reason, the case may come up for hearing”.

On January 14 this year, the Supreme Court had tagged a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader and lawyer Ashwini Upadhyay against Article 370 with another similar petition filed by Kumari Vijayalakshmi Jha.
The court had listed the matter for hearing on April 2.
Upadhyay has filed the PIL against Article 370 which also pleads that the separate constitution of Jammu and Kashmir was “arbitrary” and “unconstitutional” on grounds that it was against the “supremacy of the constitution of India and contrary to dictum of one nation, one constitution, one national anthem and one national flag”. Upadhyay has contended that the special provision was “temporary” in nature at the time of framing of the constitution and Article 370(3) lapsed with the dissolution of the Jammu and Kashmir constituent assembly on January 26, 1957.

Articles 370, 35A, who said what

Abrogation of Articles 370, 35A way to resolve Kashmir problem: Amit Shah
The Bharatiya Janata Party president Amit Shah has said that abrogating Article 35-A was the party’s commitment to the people of the country, a media report said on Monday. The report quoted Shah as saying that abrogating Article 35A is in the BJP manifesto and has been so since 1950. “It has not happened till now as we do not have a majority in Rajya Sabha, but I believe it will happen by 2020. Removing Article 35A has been in our manifesto since 1950, it is our commitment to the people of the country,” Shah said at the News18 Agenda India Summit, according to the report.

Article 35A empowers the government of Jammu and Kashmir to define “permanent residents” of Jammu and Kashmir and also allows the government to confer special rights and privileges on the people with respect to employment and acquisition of immovable property in the state.

Shah claimed that the BJP has been able to curb militant funding and “radicalisation” in Jammu and Kashmir.
He said that the BJP government has banned organisations and plugged funding to curb militancy in Kashmir.
He said that the maximum number of militants have been killed during the BJP rule.
“…and we will continue to do so. Earlier, there were talks of fake Hindu terror…now, the world talks about the terror that emanates from Pakistan,” the report quoted Shah as having said.

Talking about the controversy on the death toll vis-à-vis India’s air strikes across the LoC, Shah said he does not prefer to watch foreign media and only quoted the figures, about the death toll, “of the national media”. “I quoted the Balakot figures from what I saw on our media channels…I did not watch or refer to foreign media reports,” Shah said.

The BJP president said that abrogation of Articles 370 and 35A is the way forward to resolve Kashmir problem, another media report said.
Shah said that after coming to power in 2014, the government led by BJP took action “against anti-national elements” after peace efforts did not materialise. The action, he said, included the banning of Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front and Jamaat-e-Islami and raids by National Investigation Agency.

The government also withdrew the security of separatists in the valley, he said. Shah’s comments came a few days after Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said special status enjoyed by Jammu and Kashmir is the root cause of the crisis in the state. He held country’s first Prime Minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru responsible for granting special status to the state.
However, Jaitley’s remarks drew criticism from the former chief minister Mehbooba Mufti. Warning the Centre, she said if Article 370 is revoked, the relation of Jammu and Kashmir with the Union of India would be over. Meanwhile, the summit where Shah spoke was attended by other leaders like Union minister Nirmala Sitharaman, CPI(M) leader Prakash Karat and Opposition leaders Kapil Sibal and Manish Tewari among others.

No power can revoke Article 370, 35-A: Mir
Jammu and Kashmir Pradesh Congress Committee (JKPCC) president G A Mir Monday said no power can revoke Articles 370 and 35-A of the Constitution and the provisions were a bridge between the people of the state and the Union of India.

Mir was reacting to the reported remarks of BJP president Amit Shah underscoring his party’s commitment to abrogating theses special provisions.

Asked about what the Narendra Modi government had done to meet the BJP’s promise to repeal Articles 370 and 35-A, Shah had told a news channel on Sunday that his party remains firm on its commitment, but cited lack of majority in the Rajya Sabha as the reason behind not fulfilling it so far.
Mir, the chief of the Congress’s state unit, said, “This is just an election ‘jumla‘ and people of the country are not giving them mandate again and so. It is their desperation.”

He said the constitutional provision was a strong bridge between Jammu and Kashmir and the Union of India.
“No power in the world can revoke Article 370 and Article 35-A,” Mir told reporters here.

The JKPCC chief said the BJP knows the sensitivity of the issue and that is why it has not touched these constitutional provisions in the last five years of its rule at the Centre.
On Sunday, Shah had added that his party is likely to be in a majority in the Upper House by 2020.

Abrogating Article 370 has long been one of the core BJP promises. It grants special status to Jammu and Kashmir and limits Parliament’s power to make laws concerning the state.
Article 35-A empowers the state assembly to define “permanent residents” for bestowing special status to them.

Abrogating Art 370 will be saying goodbye to JK: Sajad
Peoples Conference (PC) Chairman Sajad Gani Lone Monday said J&K’s special status was sacred and a matter of special provisions offered to the people of the State in order to be part of India and mere thoughts of abrogating it would be tantamount to committing suicide.

Reacting to Amit Shah’s statement on J&K’s special status, Sajad said New Delhi refuses to learn from its past mistakes and is bent upon further distancing future generations of J&K from India.
“The growing alienation and mistrust in Kashmir is a result of systematic erosion of Article 370 from its original form. Mere thought of abrogating Articles 370 and Article 35-A is further going to damage the relationship between the people of J&K and the rest of India. If New Delhi indeed intends to tinker with Article 370 and Article 35-A, it will be tantamount to committing suicide,” he said.

Sajad said any misstep in regard to Article 370 had the potential to further secessionist sentiment in the Valley and the secessionist sentiment would get its ultimate mass justification.
“Forget abrogation, mere statements of intent to undermine or dilute Article 370 and Article 35-A will fatally shake the foundations of accession. Any attempt to actually do away with it will be as good as saying goodbye to Jammu Kashmir. It will prove to be the last straw in New Delhi’s relationship with J&K,” he said.

Reiterating his demand to further strengthen Article 370, Sajad said restoring Article 370 to its original pristine was the only solution to resolve Kashmir issue.
“Restoring Article 370 to its original contours is the only non-military measure left with the Indian state to restore peace in J&K. This is an article of trust an article of faith and essentially a contract. The contract is subject to abiding to the set of obligations as agreed by both the parties. Any move to abandon its obligations by either party actually nullifies the contract and puts accession in a state of ambiguity. The statement of Shah is legally untenable and ethically undesirable,” he said.

Won’t allow fiddling with Articles 35A, 370: Omar
National Conference vice-president Omar Abdullah on Monday described the laws that guarantee the state’s special status as the “articles of faith” and promised that his party would not allow anyone to fiddle with them.
“In 1947, some assurances were given to us in the form of securing our identity. The assurances were for all times,” he said during an election rally in Bandipora district on Monday.

Omar said the recent remarks by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and BJP president Amit Shah to abrogate Article 35A and Article 370 — the laws which guarantee the state’s special status — were “uncouth”.

“Let me put it across that we won’t allow that to happen. Article 370 and Article 35A are the articles of faith for us,” Omar said.

The former CM said the parliamentary elections were significant “since they will have a direct bearing on the special status of the state”.

“The state’s accession with the Union of India was accomplished in lieu of various constitutional safeguards for the state and if the safeguards are tempered with, the entire scheme of accession will be under question,” he said.

Omar said Jammu and Kashmir was the only state that had executed its accession with the Union of India “after securing itself certain constitutional safeguards”.

“We are not like any another state of India. Every other state got merged with the Union of India. We joined our hands with the Union on certain conditions unlike other states of India,” he said.

Omar said his party “would fight any attempt that is aimed at fiddling with our state’s status”.

“We won’t let anyone assail our special status. On the contrary, we will strive to get back what was infringed upon. We will work to get back the coveted posts of Sadr-e-Riyasat and Prime Minister for our state,” he said.