Home Minister Amit Shah today announced the central government’s plan to repeal Article 370 – which provides the state of Jammu & Kashmir some special rights. Shah later stated to demolish the Article 370 and to bifurcate the state into two Union territories – Jammu and Kashmir, that will have a legislature, and Ladakh, which will be without a legislature.
How These Articles Came Into act –
When India got independence from Britishers, the state of J&K preferred to stay independent under Maharaja Hari Singh. Later in the year 1947, the Azad Kashmir Force supported by Pakistani army attacked the J&K state. When attacked, Maharaja Hari Singh asked help from Indian Government for Military force. Indian Government cleared all of Jammu and Kashmir area and following that, Mountbatten (then, Indian Governor General) and Maharaja Hari Singh, the ruler of the state decided to join hands with the state of India and signed Instrument of Accession on 26th October 1947.
What is Article 370?
Article 370 of the Indian constitution was an article that gives special status to the state of Jammu and Kashmir. The article is drafted in Part XXI of the Constitution: Temporary, Transitional and Special Provisions. The Constituent Assembly of Jammu and Kashmir, after its establishment, created the state’s constitution which was the legal document that established the framework of government at the state level in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir. J&K is the only state in India that has a separate constitution.
Article 370 provides six special provisions for Jammu and Kashmir –
- It exempted the State from the complete applicability of the Constitution of India. The State was allowed to have its own Constitution.
- Central legislative powers over the State were limited, at the time of framing, to the three subjects of defence, foreign affairs, and communications.
- Other constitutional powers of the Central Government could be extended to the State only with the concurrence of the State Government.
- The ‘concurrence’ was only provisional. It had to be ratified by the State’s Constituent Assembly.
- The State Government’s authority to give ‘concurrence’ lasted only until the State Constituent Assembly was convened. Once the State Constituent Assembly finalised the scheme of powers and dispersed, no further extension of powers was possible.
- Article 370 could be abrogated or amended only upon the recommendation of the State’s Constituent Assembly.
What is Article 35A?
Article 35A of the Indian Constitution was an article that empowered the Jammu and Kashmir state’s legislature to define “permanent residents” of the state and provide special rights and privileges to those permanent residents. It was added to the Constitution through a Presidential Order, i.e, The Constitution (Application to Jammu and Kashmir) Order, 1954 – issued by the President of India on 14 May 1954, exercising the powers conferred by the clause of the Article 370 of the Indian Constitution, and with the concurrence of the Government of the State of Jammu and Kashmir.
Permanent Residents Clauses –
- No person who is not a Permanent Resident of Jammu and Kashmir can own property in Jammu and Kashmir.
- No person who is not a Permanent Resident of Jammu and Kashmir can obtain a job within Jammu and Kashmir Government.
- No person who is not a Permanent Resident of Jammu and Kashmir can join any professional college run by the government of Jammu and Kashmir or get any form of government aid out of government funds.