SRINAGAR: The opposition parties in Jammu and Kashmir are mulling to contest Article 35-A petition challenging the validity of Article 35-A of constitution, which grants special privileges to residents to the State.
“We will not shy away from becoming party to the Article 35-A case in the Supreme Court. We are mulling to challenge the petition legally in the apex court. We are consulting the lawyers and may file the petition in the apex court,” National Conference president and former Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah told the meeting of opposition leaders convened by him at his residence, here today.
The State Congress leaders, CPI (M) State Secretary Mohammad Yousuf Tarigami, independent MLA Hakeem Yasin, former minister Ghulam Hassan Mir and others attended the meeting which was also attended by NC working president and former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah and many top NC leaders.
The meeting was called by Farooq Abdullah to chalk out joint strategy to defend Article 35-A of the constitution.
The Supreme Court is hearing a petition filed by an NGO ‘Jammu Kashmir Study Centre’ seeking abrogation of Article 35-A, which confers special rights and privileges on permanent residents of J&K and debars non-residents from buying land or property, getting a government job or voting in State Assembly elections. The next hearing of the case, which was to be held on August 29, would now be held after Diwali.
A senior NC leader, who attended the meeting today, said it has been decided that the opposition leaders would consult some legal experts to know their opinion before deciding to contest in supreme court the petition challenging Article 35-A.
He said the leaders of opposition parties would be travelling to Jammu and Ladakh to meet representatives of political parties, civil society members, traders and lawyers and garner support for joint fight against attempts to abrogate Article 35-A.
Meanwhile, Congress leader and former PDP MP, Tariq Hameed Karra, today said he has been accepted as private respondent by the Supreme Court in Article 35A case.
“The plea has been accepted by the Supreme Court and I have been accepted as a private respondent into the case,” he said.
Karra, who had resigned from PDP last year, said he had moved an application before Supreme Court to empanel him as a private respondent in the matter of Article 35A.
The petition of intervention was filed by his lawyer Ashok Mathur in the supreme court .
The lawyers staged protests in Srinagar and other parts of the Valley today to protest against any attempt to abrogate Article 35-A.
The separatist leaders Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Mohammad Yasin Malik had called on lawyers to stage protests today in favour of safeguarding Article 35-A.
The separatist leaders, meanwhile, today called off the August 29 strike and protest programme on Article 35-A after the Supreme court rescheduled the hearing of the petition challenging J&K State subject law after Diwali.