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Article 35A hearing: KASHMIR ON EDGE.

People of Jammu and Kashmir will be waiting with bated breath on Friday for Supreme Court’s decision on a string of petitions challenging the constitutional validity of the Article 35A, which protects the state subject laws and special rights and privileges of J&K’s permanent residents.

The crucial case will be heard by the Apex Court when Kashmir and parts of Chenab and Pir Panchal regions are observing a complete shutdown in defence of the constitutional provision that restricts government jobs, admissions in professional institutions and scholarships to the state subjects.

Ahead of the hearing, J&K’s advocate general DC Raina reached New Delhi this afternoon to discuss strategy to be adopted by the state to seek adjournment of the hearing.

State’s standing counsel in the Apex Court ShoebAlam on Wednesday submitted before the Apex Court registry that it will seek adjournment when the case comes up for hearing likely before 12.30pm on Friday.

On the last hearing of the case, assistant solicitor general of India Tushar Mehta had appeared on behalf of the state to seek adjournment of the hearing. The Centre had then supported the state’s plea for adjournment. Apart from Mehta, two senior Supreme Court lawywers–KV Viswanathan and RakeshDivedi–will appear on behalf of the state.

On the last hearing of the case, the Apex Court had said that it would first decide whether the pleas challenging Article 35A need to be referred to a five-judge constitutional bench for examining the larger issue.

The J&K government, in its affidavit filed during the PDP-BJP government, had sought dismissal of the petition, reasoning the matter has already been settled by the top court.

In its defence of the Article, the J&K government had cited two verdicts by the Constitution benches of the Supreme Court in 1961 and 1969, which had upheld the powers of the President under Article 370(1)(d) of the Constitution of India to pass such orders.

In 2014, ‘We The Citizens’ filed a writ petition in the Supreme Court seeking abrogation of the Article 35A on the ground that it was not added to the Constitution following the procedure prescribed in the Article 368 of the Indian constitution.

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