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SC admits plea challenging ‘legality’ of Article 370

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Tuesday admitted a plea challenging the legality of Article 370 of the Constitution and the special status granted to Jammu and Kashmir under it. The court issued a notice to the Central government and sought a response, ANI reported.

The report says that the plea argued that “Article 370 has lapsed and urged that the separate constitution of Jammu and Kashmir be declared illegal.”

“The Supreme Court has issued notice to the Centre, seeking response to the plea,” the report said.

The plea challenges the special status granted to Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370 of the Constitution.
The plea in Supreme Court comes at a time when a debate on Article 35-A of the Constitution, which entitles the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly to define Permanent Residents of the state, is brewing in political circles.

On Monday, the three time chief minsiter of Jammu and Kashmir Farooq Abdullah warned of a public uprising in Jammu and Kashmir if Article 35-A that confers powers on J&K legislature to define state’s permanent residents is abrogated.

“When it will come to scrapping the Article, you will see this mass of people rising. Don’t forget when Amarnath land row thing happened, people rose overnight. This Article 35-A will be far greater a revolt and I wonder whether they (government of India) will be able to contain it,” Abdullah had told reporters after chairing a meeting of opposition parties.

Article 35-A of the Indian Constitution is an article that 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.

Three weeks after the Modi government told the Supreme Court, in regard to two petitions seeking scrapping of the clause, that it wanted a “larger debate” on the issue, a fresh plea has been filed on the ground that the provisions under Article 35-A were discriminatory towards women natives of the state.

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