Larger bench to hear pleas on Article 35A?

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A three-judge Supreme Court bench is now hearing a petition against Article 35-A provision that empowers the Jammu and Kashmir legislature to define the State's 'permanent residents' and their special rights and privileges.

"Instead of defending Article 35-A, the Central government through the Attorney General has pitched for a larger debate on the Article", Omar said while addressing a party convention, here. Someone who wants to buy land in this state will he do that in Kashmir?

The provision under challenge not only deprives the native woman of Jammu & Kashmir of her right to acquire or possess any property and other privileges in the hill State but it extends even to her children from such a marriage.

Meanwhile, former chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir Omar Abdullah has said that if the Article 35 (A) is scrapped it would take away jobs and scholarships of children in the state.

"The BJP has been hell-bent to trample the special status of Jammu and Kashmir for a long time, which was incidentally their election plank in 2014".

The plea has challenged certain provisions of the Constitution which deny property right to a woman who marries a person from outside the state.

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"If Article 35-A is repealed, we will traverse back to the unfortunate era of indignity, deprivation and oppression", he said and lauded the farsightedness of erstwhile Maharaja Hari Singh in bringing the State Subject Laws into effect in 1927.

"No region of the state will benefit from the removal of Article 35A, I am just correcting the propaganda argument of the BJP", Omar Abdullah said.

The Jammu and Kashmir government has told the Supreme Court that the Article 35A issue has been "prima facie settled" by the high court in its 2002 judgment.

"Why isn't the Central government formally defending Article 35A in the Supreme Court?" he asked. They say it will benefit Kashmir but adversely affect Jammu.

Omar Abdullah also hit out at the separatist leaders and said that they have no business to talk about Article 35A as they do not believe in the Constitution of India.

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