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Article 35A LIVE: Supreme Court adjourns hearing, to hear on August 27



Supreme Court of India

Srinagar, Aug 5 : The Supreme Court on Monday adjourned hearing petitions challenging the validity of Article 35A which empowers Jammu and Kashmir  state’s legislature to define ‘permanent residents’ of the state and provide special rights to them and further posted the matter  on August 27.

 Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra said,  “Only a three judge bench can consider this case. We can’t hear it in one day,” he said.

Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra said a two-judge bench cannot  hear the bunch of petitions challenging Article 365A of the Constitution. Justice DY Chandrachud is not available. The matter was  supposed to be heard by a three-judge bench.

The petitions have sought to quash the Article 35A, which confers special status to permanent residents of Jammu and Kashmir. The matter is listed for hearing before a bench comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud.

Chief Justice Dipak Misra says that Article 35A has been in vogue for more than 60 years. “An argument about strike by lawyers can’t now be a ground to speed up the case,” he says. Jammu and Kashmir seeks matter to be adjourned to December. The matter will now be listed on August 27.

Chief Justice Dipak Misra said that the Supreme Court will hear Attorney General (AG) of India as the Jammu and Kashmir government “may not have much to say”. J&K counsel has opposed the observation. ASG Tushar Mehta and Rakesh Dwivedi reply, saying that the state has “a lot to say in this matter”.

There are fears of massive unrest in Jammu and Kashmir as the Supreme Court on Monday will be hearing petitions challenging the validity of Article 35A , which empowers the State legislature to define “permanent residents” and provide special rights and privileges to them.

A complete shutdown was observed in the Valley on the call of the separatist Joint Resistance Leadership, comprising Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Yasin Malik.


The Jammu and Kashmir administration has written to the apex court to defer the hearings citing upcoming panchayat and urban local body elections.

There are fears of “revolt” in the police ranks in case the Supreme Court decides to strike down Article 35A because state police is always on the forefront in the fight against terrorists, pro-separatists protests and stone-pelters in the valley. Director General of Police Shesh Paul Vaid admitted that the local police had a view about this emotive issue.

The separatist Joint Resistance Leadership (JRL) observed a complete shutdown for two days in support of the Article 35A, which gives special powers to the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly that has been challenged in the Supreme Court.

Any meddling with State subject law is aimed at changing J&K’s demography. This issue is directly related to our right of self-determination. We all need to fight for it with unity and steadfastness,” said the separatists in a joint statement.

Describing Article 35A “a matter of life and death”, the separatists said, “We will spill our blood to safeguard it.”

The Kashmir and Jammu regions witnessed street protests in Anantnag, Srinagar and Rajouri on Friday, three days ahead of the Supreme Court’s scheduled hearing on the petitions challenging Article 35A, which grants special privileges to residents of the State. The Hurriyat and the JKLF held demonstrations in the Valley. Over 300 lawyers in Jammu passed a resolution for retaining Article 35 A.

Mirwaiz, in series of tweets, said that no court whether of India or Pakistan has any right to take decisions about Jammu and Kashmir having implications on the overall settlement of the “dispute”. Mirwaiz also said that Kashmiris will never allow tinkering with Article 35A and are ready to lay down their lives for its protection.


Security tightened

Police and paramilitary personnel has been deployed in strength and check posts set up to prevent protesters from gathering in large numbers. Shops, businesses, markets and transport services remained shut. Rallies in favour of Article 35A were held in Ramban, Doda and Kishtwar district

More than 1,600 police personnel have been killed fighting terrorists since 1990.

Article 35A was incorporated into the Constitution in 1954 by an order of the then President Rajendra Prasad on the advice of the Jawaharlal Nehru Cabinet.

Article 35A is a provision incorporated in the Constitution giving the Jammu and Kashmir Legislature a carte blanche to decide who all are ‘permanent residents’ of the State and confer on them special rights and privileges in public sector jobs, acquisition of property in the State, scholarships and other public aid and welfare.

Meanwhile, National Conference patron Farooq Abdullah also called for “united fight against the attempts to abrogate Article 35A”.

“Jammu or Kashmir or Ladakh have to come together over the issue,” said Mr. Abdullah, who met a civil society group, ‘We the people of J&K’, which is spearheading a campaign against the revocation, on Wednesday.

Abdullah said he hoped that the Hurriyat leaders too would “listen to the civil society members”. “There is need for an organised movement,” said Dr. Abdullah.

In 2014, a little-known NGO approached the Supreme Court challenging Article 35A on the grounds that it was illegally added to the Constitution as it was never floated before Parliament. In July 2017, Supreme Court lawyer Charu Wali Khanna also challenged Article 35A on the grounds that it was discriminatory towards women


India reports 86,052 new Covid cases




Coronavirus India

With 86,052 new cases in the last 24 hours, India’s coronavirus cases are nearing six million-mark, according to the health ministry updates shared on Friday.

There were 1,141 fatalities also confirmed in the 24 hour-period bringing the death toll to 92,290. The total infections stand at  5,818,571, including 9,70,116 active cases and 4,756,165 people getting cured/discharged/migrated. 

India’s Covid-19 recovery rate stands at 81.74 per cent and the mortality rate remains below 1.6 per cent, according to government figures. 

In a positive development, Wednesday was the sixth consecutive day when the number of people recovered in the country was more than the total number of cases detected in the 24-hours period. 

In the last few days, India has seen a significant drop in daily cases, but there needs to be more evidence to suggest whether the nation has surpassed the virus’s peak or not. 

Maharashtra continues to be India’s worst-hit state with nearly 300,000 active cases and a death toll of 34,345. 

Meanwhile, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Thursday said he had been told by experts that the second wave of Covid-19 in the national capital has peaked. 

Globally, the United States is the worst-hit country with over 7 million cases and 200,000 deaths. 

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ECI set to announce Bihar election dates on Friday





New Delhi, Sep 25 (IANS) The Election Commission of India is set to announce the dates for the Bihar Assembly polls on Friday, official sources said.

A press conference is scheduled to be held at 12.30 pm at the Vigyan Bhavan in this regard, the EC spokesperson Sheyphali Saran said.

Due to Covid protocols, only journalists accredited with the PIB would be allowed to attend the presser.

Bihar has 243 Assembly seats. In 2015, the alliance of the Rashtriya Janata Dal, Janata Dal-United and the Congress had swept the polls but JD-U has since aligned with the BJP.

Earlier this month, the EC said that the Assembly elections will be completed before November 29, the date on which the tenure of the present Assembly ends.

The EC also said that by-elections to 65 seats in different states will also be held simultaneously.

The EC has already issued the guidelines to all political parties to help prevent the spread of Covid-19.

The candidates will file nomination papers and deposit security money online. Facial masks, hand sanitisers, social distancing norms would be mandatory during political campaigning or at rallies.

Earlier, the EC had asked political parties for their opinions on the conduct of Assemblly elections.

The RJD, LJP and some others had suggested postponement of the electoral battle until the coronavirus pandemic was over. However, the ruling JD-U, BJP and others wanted the elections to be completed before the Assembly’s term ended.


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2 terrorists killed in Kashmir encounter




Jammu and Kashmir Shopian Indian Army

Security forces and terrorists have engaged in a massive encounter in Sirhama in Jammu and Kashmir’s Anantnag district. As per preliminary reports, heavy exchange of fire has been reported from the area where the encounter broke out last night.

The Kashmir Zone Police has said that two Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorists have been killed in the encounter.

“Incriminating material, including arms and ammunition, have been recovered. A search operation is currently underway,” the police said.

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