Over 300 lawyers of Jammu on Friday passed a resolution seeking protection of Article 35A of the Indian Constitution.
A statement issued by these lawyers in winter capital Jammu said: “Late Maharaja Hari Singh had executed the instrument of Accession with certain conditions which later came out in the shape of Article 35A and Article 370 of the Constitution of India.”
If Article 35A or Article 370 is deleted then accession of state of Jammu and Kashmir with the dominion of India gets shaky, they said.
“Article 35A is beneficial for the permanent residents of J&K state and one of the examples of its benefits is the free education from Class 1st up to university level in the state.”
Article 35A of the Constitution gives the Jammu and Kashmir Legislature power to decide who all are “permanent residents” of the state and confer on them special rights and privileges in public sector jobs, acquisition of property in the state, scholarships and other public aid and welfare.
The lawyers’ body said there is a strong need for creating mass awareness amongst the people of Jammu and Kashmir regarding the retention of Article 35A.
The lawyer’s body said those who are for the scrapping of Article 35A should first surrender their permanent resident certificate and then work in the state.
The body of Jammu-based lawyers expressed fear that any tickling with Article 35A would hit the people living in the Jammu region more severely than those living in other parts of the state.