Jammu, Sep 18: Veteran lawyers from Jammu region held an interactive session on the topic, “Different Facets of Article 35-A” in the High Court Bar Room in Jammu on Monday during which lawyers unanimously pitched for the retention of Article 35A.
Advocate Sheikh Shakeel Ahmed presented the welcome address and also introduced the topic of discussion.
Senior Advocate and Former Bar President A.V. Gupta initiated the discussion and laid much emphasis on the historical perspective of Article 35-A. The Senior Counsel urged that Article 35-A was achieved due to the struggle launched in Jammu during Maharaja’s Regime by two prominent personalities namely, Com. Dhanwantri and Lala Roop Chand Nanda
He also stated that for special rights to the state subjects, the Jammu had observed complete shut down for 7 days and because of the agitation the Constitution of J&K, 1996 BK was enacted and in the said constitution, first time the term state subject was defined and provisions were made that no outsider can acquire immoveable property in State of J&K.
Mr. Gupta concluded his stance by saying that the people who are opposing Article 35-A cannot be the well wishers of Jammu and State of J&K as the said Constitutional guarantee was achieved by Jammuites after long struggle.
Former Senior Additional Advocate General S.C. Gupta echoed for retention of Article 35-A and submitted that the same needs to be further strengthened by the Indian Parliament. Mr. S.C. Gupta further submitted that any tinkering with Article 35-A will have an adverse effect on Article 370 of the Indian Constitution which accords special status to the State of J&K.
Mr. Gupta further stated that in the name of demographic change by certain vested interests the people of the state are being misguided and mislead and a duty is cast upon the lawyers fraternity to educate the common masses about the political implications of the scrapping of the Article 35-A.
Former Member of Legislative Council, Advocate M.R. Qureshi while affirming the views of Mr. A.V. Gupta and Mr. S.C. Gupta stated that at the time of accession, certain commitments were made to the people of the State and by a design, the same are sought to be abridged.
Advocate Qureshi according to news agency CNS further submitted that Jammu province will be maximum affected by the tinkering of Article 35-A as maximum people from rest of the country are expected to settle in Jammu. He further pointed out that with the repeal of Article 35-A, there will be disintegration of the State of J&K resulting in chaos and disturbance of law and order.
Former Assistant Solicitor General of India (ASGI) Mr. K.K. Pangotra contended that non-issue has been made an issue just to vitiate peace in State of J&K. Mr. Pangotra in his brief address stressed for retention of Article 35-A.
Advocate Pawan Kundal stated that Article 35-A is the soul of Article 370 and it should not be altered. Similar were the views expressed by Advocate A.M. Malik.
The discussion concluded with the decision to hold a massive awareness campaign by involving lawyers, intellectuals and people belonging to different shades of life so that people of the state are educated about the various facets of Article 35-A and its adverse effects on its being abrogated.
While concluding the discussion Advocate Supriya Chouhan referred to various historic facts responsible for the introduction of Article 35-A and she strenuously urged that the privileges enjoyed by the permanent residents will be taken away with the abrogation of Article 35-A. She further stated that J&K is a unique state within India and the spirit of Article 370 needs to be respected for the retention of the special status and she closed her views by stating that the people of the state had rejected the idea of Pakistan and had volunteered with Secular Indian State and the voices against Article 35-A are repugnant to the spirit of the special status enjoyed by the permanent residents of J&K State. (CNS)