PROF Bhim Singh Calls For Abolition of Article 35A Applicable In J & K

EMINENT jurist Pro Bhim Singh has urged Parliament to explain its position on Article 35 A & Fundamental Rights granted to the Jammu Kashmir   residents. The  Article  issued  by the then President  of India  in 1954 through  an ordinance  on the advice  by the  Union Council of Ministers headed  by  Jawaharlal Nehru   empowers the state’s  legislatures to  define  citizenship  for  the people of the  ex-princely state to protect  their  rights  and  privileges. The State legislature has been given power to define and regulate the rights and privileges of the permanent residents of the State, more especially in regard to the acquisition of immovable property, appointments to services and like matters.  ‘These include non-citizens are not allowed to purchase land or houses and they have no right to government jobs. If a daughter of a J & K citizen marries a –non- Kashmiri, she is disinherited from parental property under the act.  This act is yet be approved by Parliament. Himself  an ex-royal from  J & K now the Executive Chairman of State Legal Aid Committee has expressed surprise over the silence of Parliament of India on the status of Fundamental Rights to the citizens of India in his  home  state. Addressing a committee of State Legal Aid Committee in Delhi, Prof. Bhim Singh expressed surprise on the dead silence of the Parliament of India on the provision of Fundamental Rights to the Indian citizens in Jammu & Kashmir. Prof. Bhim Singh told a lawyers’ gathering that citizens of India in Jammu & Kashmir were deprived of their Fundamental Rights in 1954 by inserting A with 35 thus adding Art. 35 A in Chapter – III of the Constitution of India which deprived citizens of Jammu & Kashmir (Ladakh, Kashmir & Jammu province) of their Fundamental Rights by adding  A with 35 in 1954. Prof. Bhim Singh while addressing lawyers expressed shock that President of India by his Ordinance in 1954 deprived the citizens of India in J&K of their Fundamental Rights as the Govt. of Jammu & Kashmir was empowered by the President of India by this Act in 1954. This was done only to vest dictatorial power in the Govt. of Jammu & Kashmir which was headed by Bakshi Gulam Mohd. This amendment by inserting Article 35 A empowered Govt. of J&K to divest the people of Jammu & Kashmir from all Fundamental Rights. Even today it is Public Safety Act in J&K which deprives citizens of all their Fundamental Rights in J&K. No other State in India has such authority in law.  Prof. Bhim Singh urged the lawyers to convince Parliament about granting Fundamental Fights to the Indian citizens in J&K also. This is possible only when dictatorial amendment is withdrawn by the President of India. Article 35A 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 was 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 on 14 May 1954, exercising the powers conferred by the clause (1) of the Article 370 of the Indian Constitution, and with the concurrence of the Government of the State of Jammu and Kashmir. Meanwhile, the Kashmir Valley has witnessed   vociferous   protest by the people against a petition filed in the Supreme Court of India calling for deletion of Article 35A. PDP, National Conference and other Kashmir Valley based political outfits   are solidly defending the Article.(Image courtesy to J  K Global News)

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