Article 35-A row: JK Govt’s argument for deferment was not convincing, says Justice (Retd.) Masoodi

Says Popular Govt must for contesting petitions challenging constitutional rights

Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir’s top constitutional expert and former judge of Jammu and Kashmir High Court Justice (Retd.) Hasnain Masoodi on Saturday said that the arguments of Jammu and Kashmir government in its abandonment motion during August 6 hearing on Article 35-A were not convincing as the rights challenged in the petitions filed against article 35-A concern the sovereignty or limited sovereignty and constitutional rights of the people of Jammu and Kashmir.

“Since the case on article 35-A does not pertain to Panchayat and Municipal elections or Government appointments and routine administrative issues, the Jammu and Kashmir government should have told the Supreme Court that case on article 35-A has been filed to challenge the constitutional rights of the people of Jammu and Kashmir granted to them by the constitution of India the concerns of the people necessitate the presence of a popular government for contesting a case filed to challenge their constitutional rights.”

Saying that the Panchayat and Municipal elections are to be held and an Interlocutor is engaged in dialogue process makes no sense for the judges hearing the case on Article 35-A who have to test the validity of the arguments of the petitions filed to challenge an article of constitution put in place through a presidential order. He said the argument of the Jammu and Kashmir government was not convincing and judges of the Supreme Court were very right in observing that the case could not be deferred for the reasons of Panchayat and Municipal elections and the political engagement of an Interlocutor in the state.

Calling upon all stake holders to shun the politics of blame game and come together to fight the case against article 35-A in the court room, Justice (Retd.) Masoodi said, “The parties who have not chosen to file applications of interventions are in fact showing their non seriousness in contesting the case in the top court of the country.”

He added, “If you have to play a football match, you have to play it in a football ground but not in a tense court.”

(With inputs from KNS)

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