Isn’t it ironic that the ‘nationalists’ are challenging their own constitution: KCCI
Srinagar: The civil society and the business community of the valley are now questioning the very basis of the petition filed against the Article 35-A.
This is not for the first time that the legality of the article has been questioned. It has already been done thrice and dismissed by the court first in 1956, 1961 and 1970.
Now again, not just one, there are three petitions challenging the Article.
However, legally, a petition once dismissed by the court on certain facts and grounds, is not entertained again. However, in case of Article 35-A, the petitions have been accepted thrice.
Mohammad Yaseen Khan, Chairman of the Kashmir Economic Alliance says that it’s not a legal fight but the RSS’s agenda to integrate Jammu and Kashmir with the Union of India.
“See as far as BJP Government is concerned, they say that we want to integrate the state of Jammu and Kashmir with the union of India. That is their programme because that is RSS’s, their ideological patron’s programme, from the last 100 years,” Khan told Free Press Kashmir.
He added, “You can check the statements of the key ministers be it the Finance Minister Arun Jaietly or BJP President Amit Shah. They are not talking about the law. They are talking about their ‘own aspirations’. And their aspiration is to integrate JK with the union.”
Khan also said that the petition should not have been even entertained as it has been rejected thrice.
“And if we talk about the law, how can the Supreme Court even entertain a petition that has been dismissed thrice. That is the judgement of the same ‘Apex court’. Why are they even considering it?” Khan asked.
He accused that the Government of India is in the process of changing the demography of the state and then want to hold a referendum.
“They don’t care about the law. It’s clear by the statement of Home Minister Rajnath Singh when he said that by 2022 Kashmir issue will be solved. What I assume is that they want to change the demography of our state by that time. Then they would go for the referendum. This is their agenda behind challenging Article 35-A,” Khan asserted.
“Isn’t this ironical that the ‘nationalists’ are not honouring their own constitution,” said Mushtaq Wani, President of the Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
He added, “The special status (Article 370 and 35-A) has been granted to us by the Constitution of India. Plus, it’s clearly mentioned that 35-A is un-amendable. Abrogating it or doing away with it should be out of question.”
The State BJP Spokesperson Prof Virender Gupta recently had said that its time to ‘bid goodbye’ to both the Articles as it has created a ‘separatist emotion’ in the valley.
He had added that industrialists and business houses from outside hesitate to open ventures in the state and as a result it is facing the crisis of unemployment and migration of skilled and talented youth to the rest of the country.
“Maybe they don’t know about the fact that businesses from outside have been flourishing here as they get land on lease for 99 years. If the Articles prevent them from coming here then how did a sprawling Taj Vivanta and Hotel Lalit come up in the heart of Srinagar,” said Mubeen Shah, former President of the Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
The recent petitions
The petition 722/2014, has been filed by a non-governmental organization called ‘We the Citizens’ in 2014. In the petition, the NGO wants to strike down the article as they believe that the President has no powers to insert an Article in the constitution.
In 2015, West Pakistan Refugees filed a petition against the article on the grounds that it creates a ‘privileged’ class of permanent residents who are entitled to various rights.
Dr. Charu Wali Khanna and Seema Razadan’s petition is the latest which challenges the article. Their petition says that the article promotes ‘gender bias and discrimination.
It’s pertinent to mention that Khanna has only ‘anecdotal proof’ that she is a state subject, a permanent resident of the state, reported the Indian Express. Khannas’s anecdotal proof says that her ancestors left Kashmir during the Afghan rule.