ARTICLE 35-A was unconstitutional, says Senior SC Advocate Bhim Singh
Professor Bhim Singh, senior Supreme Court Advocate and ex-General Secretary of All India Youth Congress, has hailed scrapping of Article 370 along with Article 35 A. Addressing Young Panthers activists today in Delhi, Prof. Bhim Singh, native of J & K made a strong appeal to the educated youth and all political parties to understand the circumstance in which the Article 35-A was invented .It was inserted by the then President of India in May 1954 as a Presidential Order. Under the Constitution of India, President can issue an ordinance which shall not/cannot extend beyond six months which means the ordinance, 35-A came to an end/expired in November 1954. The ordinance issued by the President expires after six months unless it is passed through the Legislature /Parliament within six months. The Senior Supreme Court advocate, an elected Sr. Executive of SC Bar Association of India, has argued this matter for long in the country’s highest judiciary. He said that Sheikh Abdullah was in Jail and his case was argued by British lawyer Dingal Foot before a special Court at Jammu Canal Road in 1954. He argued that the fundamental rights were applicable to Sheikh Abdullah as a citizen of India and no Indian Citizen could be detained for more than three months in prison without trial. It was a compulsion with the then Indian Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru to find a way out to keep Sheikh Abdullah in detention. It was. Nehru who addressed a letter to the then President of India, Dr. Rajendra Prasad, to amend Article 35. The President exercised his power as a President of India and inserted amendment – Article 35-A. Art. 35-A does not deal with any matter other than Art. 35 which assure that the no state legislature has any power to amend chapter –III on fundamental rights. This inserted an amendment and the amendment was not referred to Parliament of India hence collapsed after six months in 1954.
Prof. Bhim Singh said the matter is being heard by the SC of India at present challenging the validity of the Amendment. This subject has nothing to do with the fundamental rights of the Permanent Residents of J&K. Some western interest motivated by power hungry political parties in J&K have been floating rumours which are totally meaningless and has nothing to do with the civil rights of the permanent residents of J&K because all the civil rights of J&K citizens (Now citizens of India) which vested in them by birth or guided by the Maharaja’s ordinance of 1927/28 and the Constitution of India has made a commitment that all the rights vested in the citizens of India now the residents of J&K shall not be affected/changed by any law made after the independence of India. And, therefore, the rights vested in the citizens of India in Jammu and Kashmir cannot be changed. Art. 35-A has vested power in Deputy Commissioners in Jammu and Kashmir to deprive the citizens of their fundamental rights. That why thousands of youth and students remained and are still in J&K prisons without trial for years. I myself remain for over eight years in jails Under Public Safety Act. It is all because of Art. 35-A. This is unconstitutional and against the letter and spirit of the Constitution of India, empowers J&K to deprive anybody of his fundamental rights including right to freedom, freedom of speech, expression or any other freedom. Art. 35-A is a hanging sword against the fundamental citizens of India/permanent residents of J&K. the day SC declares this 35-A as unconstitutional.