Jammu, Aug 28: Addressing an emergency meeting of the lawyers fraternity in Delhi today organized by the State Legal Aid Committee of J&K, Prof.Bhim Singh, Executive Chairman of the Committee & Sr. Advocate in the Supreme Court expressed shock on the unfortunate role of the print and electronic media while speaking on the effects of Article 35(A) in the Constitution of India which has been working as a double edged sword right since 1954 when 35(A) was illegally, unconstitutionally inserted in Chapter-III by the President of India on May 14 that year.
NPP Supremo explained that illiteracy in J&K has not climbed down below 60% in nearly 70 years. Most of the citizens in J&K have not been helped to learn Urdu or Hindi. Nearly 60% people in the villages speak Kashmiri which has been recognized and included in the 8th Schedule of the Indian Constitution though. Yet the majority of the people have not been given a chance to know or understand the contents of the Constitution of India which is not applicable in the State of J&K. Local Constitution called Constitution of J&K has no chapter or any provision to guarantee any Fundamental Right to the residents of J&K. NPP Supremo admitted that he himself was victim of J&K Constitution as he was detained over 50 times and kept in different jails for nearly 8 ½ years from 1959 to 2010.
Prof.Bhim Singh expressed deep shock on the failure of the Parliament of India and the successive governments in the Centre for their utter failure to grant all those Fundamental Rights to the Permanent Residents of J&K who was described as citizens of India. Prof.Bhim Singh told the elite lawyers that Fundamental Rights guaranteed in Article 11 to Article 35 were literally taken away from the citizens of India residing in J&K right since 1954 by inserting Article 35(A). This gives power to the authoritarian (as it has been) government of J&K to notch any Fundamental Right to deprive the residents of J&K of any or even all Fundamental Rights. This Law he said was introduced under the seal and signatures of the then President of India, Dr. Rajendra Prasad on the recommendation (though unconstitutional) of the then Prime Minister, Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru. This was done to provide illegal, unconstitutional and authoritarian powers to the Govt. of J&K to keep Sheikh Abdullah in prison and hold his trial outside J&K (Madras) in 1954. NPP Supremo said that 35(A) is a dangerous provision which deprives the residents of J&K, though citizens of India, of all their Fundamental Rights. The Fundamental Rights guaranteed by the Constituent Assembly and protected by the Parliament of India have no relevance in J&K. The petty government of J&K has a superior role as compared to the Parliament of India. Article 35(A) is a shame on the Constitution and black spot on the rule of law.
Prof.Bhim Singh told the lawyers that Article 35(A) has nothing to do with the Ordinance of Maharaja Hari Singh which he issued in 1927 and 1931 introduced the ‘State Subject’. This Law called ‘State Subject’ has nothing to do with Article 35(A) because 35(A) has only negative effect to block any Fundamental Right of the Permanent Residents of J&K. The propaganda among the innocent people of J&K that Article 35(A), if goes, it shall allow outsiders to take over the immovable property of the Permanent Residents of J&K. This is a fraudulent propaganda because Law made by the Maharaja/State Subject/Permanent Residents is fully secured under Article 11 of the Constitution of India as no Law made by the Maharaja for the welfare of the State Subjects shall be curtailed by any agency whatsoever. Article 35(A) has a negative effect. It amounts to curbing the ordinary existing fundamental rights of the permanent residents of J&K. Prof.Bhim Singh told the lawyers fraternity this afternoon that he is prepared to invite anybody and everybody from any school of thought to argue the matter or join any forum to debate the subject.
Prof.Bhim Singh appealed to the intellectuals, mostly the lawyers community in J&K in particular to join him in an open debate. Article 35(A) is anti-people, anti-citizens of India residing in J&K and anti-thesis. The people of J&K particularly the intellectuals and political activists, he requested, may join him in debate. “I shall submit that Article 35(A) is obnoxious, anti-people of J&K and amounts to curbing the Fundamental Rights of the permanents residents of J&K.”