Former J&K Finance Minister Tariq Hameed Karra on Friday approached the Supreme Court to defend Article 35A of the Constitution, relating to special rights and privileges of permanent residents of the state, as a private party. Karra said the apex court has accepted his application that was presented by Ashok Mathur (advocate on record). The petition, he said, was contested by former Home minister and senior advocate P Chidambaram and a few other lawyers.
The J&K government also approached the Supreme Court with a plea to hear the Article 35 A case in which two petitions have challenged the constitutional validity of this provision that gives J&K residents special rights and privileges, after Diwali. A bench headed by Justice J S Khehar accepted the J&K state’s plea and the case will be now heard after Diwali.
Karra, who was one of the founding members of People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and a close associate of Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, left the party after it formed an alliance with the BJP in J&K.
Karra had also resigned as Member of Lok Sabha from Srinagar constituency. In fact, Karra has been questioning PDP’s alliance with the BJP, terming it the party’s “total surrender” before the RSS.Senior advocates Rakesh Dwivedi and Shoeb Alam mentioned the matter before a bench also comprising Justices Dipak Misra and D Y Chandrachud.
The Supreme Court had earlier said that a three-judge bench will hear the case and indicated that if necessary it can be sent to a five-judge bench.
Karra’s intervention is the first such defence by a private party from J&K in the case. Sources said that atleast two more interventions by private parties to defend the constitutional provision are being made in the case.
In a statement, Karra said that “PDP’s chest beating” is “just a rhetoric and public posturing, without any sincerity”. “ It (PDP) is suffering with optical illusion of regaining its lost ground, day dreaming for saving itself form public wrath and is fantasizing to become the martyrs. The very fact that the Government of India did not file objections to the petition challenging Article 35A & Attorney General’s out of turn & politically motivated stand on it in the court stands testimony to the nefarious designs of the Right wingers & has once more proved the people’s perception correct about PDP of its betrayal & ill-gotten loaves of power,” he said.
Karra also said the PDP “stands fully exposed as a collaborator & facilitator for the fascist agenda as it chose not to convince or force its alliance partner to file objections by Government of India in the court of Law”.
“Chief Minister’s theoretical visit to Delhi to meet the Prime Minister who chose not to grant her audience till she receives some counseling from the Home Minister and later on PM’s unceremonious directions to Chief Minister to meet Mr. Ram Madhav General Secretary BJP at his residence for obtaining the script has further demeaned the chair of CM,” he said. “The morality demanded the PDP should have severed its illegitimate alliance with BJP then and there. Their continuation in this immoral and unholy alliance and their public utterances is a proof enough of a “fixed match” between the two perceptibly warring partners to address their respective constituencies”. Karra said that “while BJP is true and steadfast to its fascist agenda, it is PDP which has actually lost its plot by surrendering its ideology and core philosophy to Sangh Parivar through a loosely knit and unsigned medium called agenda of alliance and just for the sake of lust for power, glitz and glamour by bartering the honour , dignity , self-esteem and distinct identity of over ten million heads”.
In his statement, Karra “cautioned the Saffron brigade to desist from instigating such reckless misadventures which could become instrumental for social unrest and civil war in J&K”.
“And this could provide a fertile ground and facilitation for the neighboring country for intensifying armed intrusion, which ultimately could turn into a full fledge war which would this time be presumably backed by few world powers who in the present world order of realignment of forces have direct stakes in adversities in this part of the world and who are waiting in the wings,” he said. “Hence the political sagacity demands to exercise prudence in the matters of national interest which in any way should not be compromised for the sake of party interests or egotism. It is better to treat the roots than prune the branches,” Karra said.