UPSC Current Affairs – 29-03-2019

Why In News:

An NGO, We the Citizens, challenged 35A in SC in 2014 on grounds that it was not added to the Constitution through amendment under Article 368. It was never presented before Parliament. Another petition, claims Article 35A discriminates against woman’s right to property.

In Brief:

  •  Article 35A – It is a provision in Constitution of India that allows the Jammu-Kashmir assembly to define permanent
    residents of the state. It was brought in by a Presidential order in 1954 to safeguard the rights and guarantee the unique
    identity of the people of Jammu-Kashmir.
  •  Definition of ‘Permanent Residents’ – According to the Jammu-Kashmir constitution, a Permanent Resident is defined as a person who was a state subject on May 14, 1954, or who has been residing in the state for a period of 10 years, and has “lawfully acquired immovable property in the state.
  •  Rights granted to Permanent Resident of J & K:
  •  Property rights;
  •  Employment in state government;
  •  Participation in Panchayat, Municipalities and Legislative Assembly Elections;
  •  Admission to government-run technical education institutions; scholarships and other social benefits.
  •  Challenge before Supreme Court – A three-judge bench of the court intends to consider if Article 35A infringes the Constitution’s basic structure.

Views against Article 35A

  •  It is against the “very spirit of oneness of India” as it creates a “class within a class of Indian citizens”
  •  It violates fundamental rights of other citizens under Articles 14, 19 and 21 of the Constitution.
  •  It restricts the basic right to property if a native woman marries a man not holding a permanent resident certificate.

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