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The Supreme Court on Friday adjourned hearing on petitions challenging the constitutional validity of Article 35A and listed the case for next hearing in the second week of January next year.

A bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud adjourned the hearing on a batch of pleas moved by different groups and individuals challenging Article-35A, reports said.

“The three-bench court adjourned the hearing of petitions. The case has been listed for next hearing in the second week of January 2019.”

On Wednesday, the Jammu and Kashmir government had moved an application in the Apex Court seeking the adjournment of the August 31 hearing on pleas in wake of upcoming local body elections in the state.

 In defence of the article 35A, the J&K government had cited two verdicts by the constitution benches of the Supreme Court in 1961 and 1969, which had upheld the powers of the president under Article 370 (1)(d) of the constitution of India to pass such orders.

Several interlocutory petitions have been filed in support of Article 35A by various individuals and civil society groups seeking the continuance of the special status to Jammu and Kashmir.

The Article 35A is the provision in Indian constitution that grants exclusive state subject (full citizenship) rights and other privileges to permanent residents of the state. This provision was added to the constitution through the Constitution (Application to Jammu and Kashmir) Order, 1954, issued by the country’s first president, Rajendra Prasad, on May 14, 1954.

The J&K constitution, which was adopted on November 17, 1956, defined a permanent resident as a person who was born or settled in the state before May 14, 1954, or who has been a resident in the state for 10 years and had ‘lawfully acquired’ immovable property in the state before that.

Four petitions demanding to scrap of the provision have been moved before the Supreme Court. The main petition was filed by a Delhi-based NGO ‘We the Citizens’ in 2014.

Later, three petitions filed by West Pakistan Refugees Action Committee, Dr. Charu Wali Khanna, and Kali Dass were clubbed together Recently, Delhi BJP leader Ashwini Upadhyay moved a fresh plea in the court seeking revocation of Article 35A of the Constitution. Meanwhile, Joint Resistance Leadership (JRL) had called for the shutdown on August 30 and 31 to protest against the abrogation of the Article 35A.

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