When was last hearing on petitions challenging Art 35 A, 370 held?
By Sant Kumar Sharma
It is amusing (for want of a better word) to read about the Supreme Court hearing challenging the abrogation of Article 35 A and neutering of Article 370. Amusing is perhaps not the right word which describes what is happening in connection with the issue.
Well, the first challenge to Article 35 A and Article 370 was filed in the Supreme Court in August 2015, full five years ago. More writ petitions challenging some aspects of these constitutional provisions were filed later.
There are perhaps four or five writs which have been clubbed together and a couple of hearings happened. Does anyone remember when was the last time, DATE AND YEAR please, the apex court heard these petitions and passed any directions?
Frankly, I don’t though I was trying to follow the timeline.
Gender discrimination with Female Permanent Residents, depriving Valmikis of the status of PRs though they have been in J&K since 1957, the fate of West Pakistani refugees who entered the state in 1947 and were debarred from PR status retrospectively after seven years on May 14, 1954, were some of the important issues raised by the petitioners. Little progress has been made on discussing the legal merits and demerits of all these aspects at the apex court.
FOR FIVE YEARS, SINCE AUGUST 2014, THERE HAS BEEN VERY LITTLE PROGRESS ON THE DETERMINATION OF VARIOUS ASPECTS.
It is a political decision of the government of the day, duly elected with a good mandate, to scrap Article 35 A. It decided to do away with this as it had the backing of the voters. They had endorsed the government move and given it mandate for the next five years.
The question is:
(1) What are the Supreme Court views on the challenges to Article 35 A and 370? Apparently, in last five years, that has not been determined.
(2) The court will subject the government move to scrap Article 35 A and neutering 37 now. It will legally scrutinise the merits of the government move.
Let me declare it categorically that my understanding of the legal nuances is that of an ordinary citizen. Untrained in law and having reverence towards the institution’s.
Here, I can’t stop myself from thinking as to how NO JUDICIAL DETERMINATION has been reached in a five-year old case on the subject. How, the cases filed just now, FIVE YEARS LATER, take precedence over the earlier pending cases?
Should not the cases be clubbed?
Is it too much to expect that those who have challenged Artcile 35 A and 370 be heard? Even if five years after they filed the case!
Should not their arguments be taken for consideration?
The legal matters sure are baffling from this perspective. When those who challenged some provisions five years ago have their petitions pending and those who defended the provisions JUST NOW get heard immediately!!!