New Delhi: Supreme Court of India has adjourned the hearing of Article 35 A by 12 weeks after pleading by the Attorney General of India, who cited appointment of interlocutor by the Govenrment of India for carrying out sustained dialogue on Kashmir.
State’s Advocate General Jehangir Iqbal Ganaie told KNS that the hearing has been deferred for 12 weeks.
“The Advocate General of India (K K Venugopal) made a statement that it was his request to the Hon’ble Supreme Court that an interlocutor has been appointed (by GoI) and it is not the right time to consider this matter. Let the matter be deferred by six months. And the court finally granted 12 weeks,” he told KNS over phone from New Delhi.
The matter was today listed at 59th position for hearing in the apex court today in the supplementary list.
A three-judge bench comprising Chief Justice of India Dipak Mishra, Justice DY Chandrachud and Justice Ajay Manikrao Khanwikar heard the petitions.
The state government was represented by constitutional lawyers Fali Nariman, Shekhar Naphade, Rakesh Diwedi, and KV Vishvinatha. While Kashmir High Court Bar Association, senior Congress leader Tariq Hameed Karra, Awami National Conference leader Muzafar Shah was impleaded as private parties.
Law minister Abdul Haq Khan, top officials of his department had flown to Delhi a day before to prepare for the hearing.
Karra as a private part was also in Delhi along with his counsel to defend the article.
Led by its president Mian Abdul Qayoom, KHBA delegation in Delhi included senior advocates ZA Shah, Riyaz Jan, Adil Asmi, Arshid Andrabi, GN Shaheen, Mushtaq Ahmad Dar, Sameer Ahmad Wani, , ZA Qureshi, Manzoor Ahmad Dar, Nazir Ahmad Ronga, MS Reshi, Altaf Haqani, Mufti Mehraj and Bashir Sidiq.
Article 35 A has been challenged by “We the Citizens” group in the Supreme Court. The Article was added to the Constitution of India by a Presidential Order in 1954 and its accords special rights and privileges to the citizens of Jammu and Kashmir and empowers the J&K legislature to frame any law without attracting a challenge on grounds of violating the Right to Equality of people from other states of India or any other right under the Indian Constitution.
The joint leadership trio of Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Yasin Malik had on Sunday warned of “mass agitation” if the apex court “delivered verdict against interests and aspirations of people of the state.
Earlier, National Conference president Dr Farooq Abdullah too has warned of “2008-like” agitation if the article was tampered with.
Expressing his displeasure with the adjournment of the hearing, Muzaffar Shah told KNS that linking Article 35 A with interlocutor’s appointment is simply politics. “The hearing should not be delayed. Politics is being played on the petition,” he said.