Kashmir has seen peaceful protests in favour of Article 35-A since Sunday

Supreme Court to decide whether Constitution bench is needed to hear the case. Article 35A grants special status to 'permanent residents' of J&K. Kashmir Valley is observing a shutdown to protest the challenge to Article 35A

The Supreme Court today briefly heard pleas challenging the constitutionality of Article 35A, which offers special rights and privileges to 'permanent residents' of Jammu and Kashmir.

A Chief Justice of India-led three-judge bench of the Supreme Court said it would take up the matter next on August 27 and that it would decide then whether a new five-judge Constitution bench must be set up to hear the challenge to Article 35A.

Meanwhile, large parts of the Kashmir Valley were shut for the second day in a row as protests against the legal challenge to Article 35A continued in Jammu and Kashmir.

Article 35A offers special privileges to 'permanent residents' of Jammu and Kashmir. Under the article, the state assembly is allowed to determine these 'permanent residents'.

Among its other provisions, Article 35A bars people from outside Jammu and Kashmir from acquiring any immovable property in the state.

A shutdown call in support of Article 35A has been issued by all factions of the Hurriyat conference. Several trade unions and associations in the Valley have lent their support to the shutdown call.

Sporadic incidents of stone-pelting were reported from Jammu and Kashmir on Sunday, the first day of protests in favour of Article 35-A (Photo: Rouf Ahmed)

Protests in the Valley began on Sunday, August 5, with a march being taken out in Srinagar. Rallies were also held at Zadibal, Karfali Mohalla, Rainawari, Anchaar, Dalgate, Rambagh, Khanyar and Parimpora in the city, officials said.

Today, on the second day of protests, large parts of the Valley were shut.

The plea against Article 35A has been filed by 'We the Citizens', an NGO linked to the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh. The plea requests that a Constitution bench of the Supreme Court hear the matter.

This is not the first time that petitions have been filed against the special status granted to Jammu and Kashmir under Article 35A. Several such petitions have been rejected by courts in the past.