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Supreme Court’s three-judge bench to decide on the pleas challenging Article 35A

The Supreme Court on Monday said a three-judge bench would decide whether the pleas challenging Article 35A, which provides special rights and privileges to the natives of J&K, should be referred to a five-judge Constitution bench for examining the larger issue of alleged violation of the doctrine of basic structure of the Constitution.

A bench comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justice A Khanwilkar adjourned the hearing on five petitions “to the week commencing from August 27” on the grounds that they pertained to the challenge to a Constitutional scheme and could not be heard as the third judge, Justice D Y Chandrachud, was not present. As the matter came up in the backdrop of protests in J&K on the issue, the state government sought adjournment of the hearing citing upcoming local body elections in the state and was supported by the Centre.

Life in Kashmir and Chenab valley remained affected on Monday for the second consecutive day due to a shutdown called by separatists against the legal challenge in SC on the validity of Article 35A. The two-day strike was called by Joint Resistance Leadership — comprising Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Mohammad Yasin Malik.
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