Free Press Journal

Centre wriggles out of special status to J&K

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New Delhi : The Central government on Monday avoided taking a stand in the Supreme Court on special status to Jammu and Kashmir under Article 35A of the Indian Constitutions that empowers the state government to frame laws to bar all Indians, except the original inhabitants of the state, from acquiring immovable property anywhere in the state or settling in the state, obtaining jobs under the state government, and availing the state-sponsored scholarship schemes.

Attorney General K K Venugopal showed up before a bench of Chief Justice of India Jagdish Singh Khehar and Justice D Y Chandrachud to state that the Centre did not wish to file its affidavit over the subject, saying the matter is “very sensitive” requiring a “larger debate.” He was pointblank that the Centre won’’t put its stand in black and white but prepared to argue on the Public Interest Litigation (PIL).

Pointing out the constitutional issues involved, he persuaded the Court to refer the case to a larger Bench of three judges. The matter could come up after six weeks, the Court said. Effectively, the reference to a larger bench without specifying a date — keeping in view the current status of pendency of cases in the top court and the number of judges it has, is going to mean a deferment for an indefinite period.