The Article 35A – the Constitution of India empowers of the Jammu and Kashmir state legislature to define ‘Permanent Residents’ of the state and also provides some special rights and privileges to those permanent residents. It includes the following:
[i] public sector jobs,
[ii] acquisition of property in the State,
[iii] scholarships and other public aid and welfare.
- The article was added to the Constitution by a Presidential order in 1954 by the then President Rajendra Prasad on the advice of the Jawaharlal Nehru Cabinet.
- The Presidential Order was issued under Article 370 (1) (d) of the Constitution. In fact, this provision allows the President to make certain “exceptions and modifications” to the Constitution for the benefit of ‘State subjects’ of Jammu and Kashmir.
- Moreover, the provision mandates that no act of the legislature coming under it can be challenged for violating the Constitution or any other law of the land.
- The controversial Constitution (Application to Jammu and Kashmir) Order of 1954 extended Indian citizenship to the ‘State subjects’ of Jammu and Kashmir.
A writ petition filed by NGO We the Citizens challenges the validity of Article 35A