Supreme Court to hear Panthers Party’s petition challenging validity of J&K Resettlement Law

The Division Bench headed by the Chief Justice Shri P. Sathasivam today ordered listing of the writ petition of J&K National Panthers Party challenging the validity of the Law on Resettlement of the Pakistani nationals and their descendents who had migrated voluntarily to Pakistan from J&K in 1947. The other judges on the division bench were JJ Mr. Ranjan Gogoi & Mr. Shiva Kirti Singh.

The Panthers Party had challenged the Resettlement Act in 2001 after a reference to the President of India was returned unheard in 2001. The Govt. headed by Mrs. Gandhi had referred the matter to the then President of India, Giani Jail Singh in 1984 seeking the opinion of the Supreme Court whether such a Law in connection with the citizenship rights to the foreigners could be enacted by the J&K Assembly. The authority of the legislature of J&K has been challenged as the matter dealt with the citizenship rights, which is the Central Subject alone. The petitioner has also challenged the Resettlement Act (now a Law) on the ground that it exceeded the authority of J&K legislature to issue entry permits to the descendents of the migrants of 1947 who had migrated to Pakistan of their own will.

The petitioner had expressed grave concern on the entry of nearly 5 lacs Pakistanis (unlimited number of descendents including wives, widows, children, grandchildren and others) all Pakistani nationals to J&K which can be catastrophic to the security of the state and put the entire nation on fire.  Besides, more than 5 lacs POK refugees in J&K sitting as allottees over the evacuee properties (houses and land) shall be evicted/thrown out from their houses and land. That shall give rise to havoc in already terrorism plagued state.                        

The Resettlement Act (known as Bill no.9) was enacted by the J&K legislature under the leadership of Sheikh Mohd. Abdullah, the then Chief Minister of J&K. The bill was opposed by Prof. Bhim Singh, the then MLA (Member, Legislative Assembly) of the Congress Party. The Congress had shunted him out of the party for opposing the bill. Prof. Bhim Singh challenged the ‘notorious Act’ in the Supreme Court of India and resigned from the Congress Party and his seat in the Assembly also. The then newly organized BJP also filed a similar petition in the Supreme Court of India through its first President, Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

The petition was admitted by Justice G.B. Pattanaik & Justice Mr. R.P. Sethi on 09.01.2002 and the operation of the Resettlement Act was stayed. The Supreme Court issued rule by admitting the writ petition with a stay order on 11.11.2002.

Prof. Bhim Singh this morning made a special mentioning before the Chief Justice, Shri P. Sathasivam requesting the Supreme Court to fix the matter at the earliest as the matter has been pending for over 12 years. He submitted that a division bench headed by Justice Mr. P. Sathasivam (presently the Chief Justice of India) had issued order on 01.07.2011 to list the matter on 04.07.2011. He submitted that the matter is urgent and concerns the security of the state and therefore it needs to be heard without any delay.

The Chief Justice directed that the case be heard on 05.03.2014.