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What is Section 35A?

Section 35A refers to a provision in the Constitution of India that granted special rights and privileges to the permanent residents of Jammu and Kashmir. It was inserted into the Constitution in 1954 through a presidential order under Article 370.

Under Section 35A, the following provisions were applicable in Jammu and Kashmir:

Only permanent residents of Jammu and Kashmir were entitled to own immovable property, settle, and avail government employment and scholarships in the state.

The state legislature had the power to define the criteria for determining permanent residents.

Non-permanent residents were not allowed to vote in the state assembly elections.

The state government had the authority to regulate the rights and privileges of permanent residents.

Section 35A was a contentious provision that sparked debates and controversies. Critics argued that it violated the principles of equality and non-discrimination as it discriminated against non-permanent residents of Jammu and Kashmir, including refugees who had settled in the state. They also argued that it hindered the integration of Jammu and Kashmir with the rest of India.

On August 5, 2019, the Indian government abrogated Article 370 and repealed Section 35A through a presidential order. As a result, the special status of Jammu and Kashmir was revoked, and the state was bifurcated into two Union Territories - Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh. The decision to revoke Section 35A was aimed at integrating Jammu and Kashmir more closely with the rest of India and enabling the application of central laws and provisions in the region

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