File photo: Supreme Court of India. Photograph:( Zee News Network )
SOS International, an organisation representing displaced people from the PoK, has moved an application for impleadment in connection with a batch of petitions in the Supreme Court challenging the validity of Article 35A of the Constitution.
The application filed yesterday urged the apex court to consider the plight of the people displaced from Pakistan-occupied Kashmir who have been the victims of the provision, it said in a statement in Jammu.
It said the application, filed by SOS International chairman Rajiv Chuni, has drawn attention to the "petty relief package" sanctioned by the Centre, whose benefit could not be taken by those who do not possess the state's domicile.
He also highlighted the plight of 12 lakh people and of more than 1.5 lakh families who are still residing in transit camps and living deplorable and miserable lives in Jammu and Kashmir, the statement said.
It said the displaced people who were settled in other states could not take benefit of the package.
"India a sovereign democratic republic and any kind of discrimination is a direct attack on the sovereignty, which has no place in the benign Constitution and is a flagrant breach of one's rights," Chuni claimed in the application.
Meanwhile, NGO Ikk Jutt Jammu president Ankur Sharma moved a plea in the Supreme Court yesterday challenging the validity of the article and alleged the provision represented the endeavour to convert Jammu and Kashmir into a Muslim state.
"Article 35-A denies fundamental rights to lakhs of West Pakistani Refugees, Gorkhas and sanitation workers of Valmiki Samaj," he alleged.
The NGO today organised a seminar on 'Article 35A: Jammu under siege' demanding scrapping of the constitutional provision.
Historian Hari Om said the article was a mockery of Constitution and was made applicable retrospectively from 1944, when India was even not a free republic and Jammu and Kashmir was a princely state.
"The act was a decisive blow to equality and freedom," he said.
MLA Pawan Gupta said the most dangerous implication of the provision was gender inequality.