Jaitley questions validity of laws under Article 370
Taking the debate on Article 370 of the Constitution forward, senior BJP leader Arun Jaitley said it must be noted that the special provision for a separate status for Jammu and Kashmir had “nothing to do with secularism” and turned into an “instrument of oppression and discrimination against Indian citizens.”india Updated: Dec 05, 2013 00:35 IST
Taking the debate on Article 370 of the Constitution forward, senior BJP leader Arun Jaitley said it must be noted that the special provision for a separate status for Jammu and Kashmir had “nothing to do with secularism” and turned into an “instrument of oppression and discrimination against Indian citizens.”
In a fresh post on Facebook, he said “since -- under the article -- any power that had to be transferred from the Centre to the state required the concurrence of the state and most powers vested in the state legislature, Article 35 (a) of the Constitution defined that no rights could be conferred on other citizens of India if they were not state subjects.”
“Those who migrated to India after partition and settled in other parts of the country have all the constitutional guarantees. But those unfortunate ones who migrated to J&K, who have been conferred citizenship of India, have not been conferred the status of being state subjects under Article 6 of the J&K Constitution,” he said.
Jaitley held that “being citizens of India, they are discriminated against. They cannot vote or contest elections of the assembly, municipality or panchayats in the state. They cannot get a job in the state. They cannot acquire property in the state. Their children are not entitled to admission to colleges as state subjects. They are not entitled to any scholarship or other state side. Article 35A of the Constitution executively inserted pursuant to Article 370(1) (d) excludes the provision of ‘this part’ of the Constitution; ‘this part’ of the Constitution refers to ‘Part III.’ “
“Should a provision like Article 35A, which exists only because of Article 370 have place in any civilized society?” Jaitley asked.
He also noted, “It is discriminatory and violative of fundamental rights. Article 35A was inserted in 1954. On a bare reading, it violates the basic structure of the Constitution. I wonder if its constitutional validity will be challenged at some point of time.”