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JKCSCC calls for united defence against legal challenge to Article 35-A

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Srinagar, Aug 11: A civil society formation here today called for a joint strategy and putting up a united defense in the Supreme Court against the legal challenge to Article 35-A of the Constitution, which gives special rights and privileges to the people of Jammu and Kashmir.

The Jammu and Kashmir Civil Society Coordination Committee (JKCSCC) said those who have moved the intervener applications in the apex court in the matter should devise a joint strategy to fight the case.

“Time has come to go to the Supreme Court with a unified action plan. There is a huge responsibility on our shoulders as interveners. We have to rise to the occasion irrespective of the affiliations on the basis of politics, region or religion to defend Article 35-A,” member of the JKCSCC Muzaffar Shah told reporters here.

He said the group has written letters to the interveners — the Jammu and Kashmir High Court Bar Association, National Conference, M Y Tarigami of CPI(M), Tariq Hamid Qarra and others — for meetings to chalk out a common strategy and put up a united defence in the Supreme Court.

“We should be able to plead our case in such a way that there should be no challenge to the Article 35-A in the future,” he said.

Speaking to the media, Mufti Nasir-ul-Islam, said there would be no compromise on Article 35-A and warned of “bloodshed” if any tinkering is done to the constitutional provision.

“There will be bloodshed if anything is done to it. We will not allow any change in the demography of Jammu and Kashmir. There will be no compromise on Artilce 35-A,” he said.

The JKCSCC also called for a strike and protests on the day the Supreme Court hears the case.

On August 06, the apex court had said a three-judge bench would decide whether the pleas challenging Article 35-A should be referred to a five-judge Constitution bench for examining the larger issue of alleged violation of the doctrine of basic structure of the Constitution.

The bench comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justice A Khanwilkar had adjourned the crucial hearing on as many as five petitions “to the week commencing from August 27” on the grounds that they pertained to the challenge to a Constitutional scheme and could not be heard as the third judge, Justice D Y Chandrachud, was not present on that day.

Article 35-A, which was incorporated in the Constitution by a 1954 Presidential Order, accords special rights and privileges to the citizens of Jammu and Kashmir and denies property rights to a woman who marries a person from outside the state.

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