The Supreme Court on Friday deferred the hearing on Article 35A in Jammu and Kashmir to the second week of January 2019. The court was hearing a clutch of petitions challenging the constitutional validity of Article 35A.

Article 35A is a presidential order that defines “permanent residents of Jammu and Kashmir”, and bars non-locals from buying and owning land in the state.

The Centre and the state government have urged the top court to hear the matter only after local body elections, scheduled to begin in September, are over.

The state government told the court that any hearing on the matter now would create law and order issues in the local body elections.

“Any debate and discussion on Article 35 A has direct repercussions on law and order in Jammu and Kashmir. Local body polls will be held in 8 phases. They would begin in September and continue till December,” the state told the bench.

The provisions of Article 35-A bars people, who are not permanent residents of J&K, from seeking employment, settling in the state, acquiring immovable properties or undertaking any trade or business.