Article 370 has historically remained a hot topic in India. A common consensus in the country called for its abrogation to create a country with one constitution and one flag. Since the article provides special status to the erstwhile state of J&K in matters of governance, land ownership, employment among many other things; giving rise to a sense of partiality in the world’s largest democracy. Thus, on 5 August 2019, Article 370 and 35A were revoked. At the same time, J&K was bifurcated and made into a new union territory. Being one of the most crucial amendments of the Indian Constitution, this has now become a vital topic for those preparing for UPSC exams or any other competitive exam. In this blog, let’s see in detail what Article 370 actually is and key points related to it.
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History of Article 370
In the year 1947, Maharaja Hari Singh, signed the Instrument of Accession with India that entitled the royalty to transmit certain powers to the country in years to come, they were External Affairs, Communication and affairs related to Defence. Article 370 was adopted by J&K in 1949. The said article was a temporary provision in the Indian Constitution and was subsumed in the Part XXI of the country’s Constitution, which is concerned with the Transitional, Temporary as well as Special Provisions. Under Article 370 no laws or provisions which were implemented in different states could’ve been applied to J&K without the state constituent assembly. For instance, in J&K the tenure of the Chief Minister was 6 years. Kashmir also used to have Sadr-e-Riyasat which was later replaced with Governor.
Key Elements of Article 370
Article 370 consisted of provisions and laws that paved the way for special and autonomous status to Jammu and Kashmir. Due to which the centre was not entitled to execute laws in J&K without the permission of the state. Here are some of its important provisions it as derived from the Indian Constitution-
- One of its paramount provisions was that it ensured that Indian Parliament shall seek approval from the constituent assembly of the Jammu & Kashmir government’s before implementing any laws or provisions or before extending the amendments of existing laws to the erstwhile state.
- Apart from this, the central government cannot call out a Financial Emergency under article 360 or for any other internal disturbance in the country. The exemption was guaranteed only in matters of External Affairs, Defence, Finance and Communication.
- An emergency can only be called out or revoked in J&K by the central government if there is a state of war in the entire country.
- In the case of citizenship rights, land ownership, rights of property or fundamental rights, like education and human rights, the people of Jammu and Kashmir were different from the citizens of other states in India. Hence, no resident of India was eligible to purchase any property in J&K.
- It is pertinent to write that it was Article 370(1)(c) which mentioned that Article 1 of the Constitution of India is applicable to Kashmir through Article 370. Article 1 enlists the various states of the Union. It explicitly means that it was Article 370 that tied the state of Jammu and Kashmir to the Indian country and abrogation of Article 370, was possible only through a Presidential order.
- Under this article, Right to Education was not applicable in the country
What is Article 35A?
Article 35A was considered the kernel of Article 370. It provided the fundamental base for it. Article 35A was inserted into the Constitution of Jammu and Kashmir in 1954. The order for its application was pronounced by then President Rajendra Prasad. It was because of this Article, subsumed within Article 370, that no outsider could’ve bought or owned property within Jammu and Kashmir. Neither was it possible for any citizen outside of J&K to apply for a job in Jammu and Kashmir. All these privileges were exclusive to its ‘Permanent Citizens’, who owned a hereditary state subject. The aforementioned term ‘Permanent Residents’ in our Article 370 blog has a special meaning in the Indian constitution. Let us understand it by observing the features of Article 35A
- All the rights as a permanent resident under the constitution of Jammu and Kashmir will be given to the person who was a state subject on May 14 1954, who has been a citizen of the state for at least 10 years, lawfully owns a property in the state
- All the permanent resident of the state must have their Permanent Resident Certificate which states there write in the state
- The definition of a permanent resident can be altered by the state legislature with a minimum of two-third majority
- Article 35A also identifies the citizens as permanent residents who had earlier migrated to Pakistan but have now returned
Changes After Abrogation of Article 370?
On the 5th of August 2019, Article 370 and 35A was revoked leading to the various changes in the country. Now, Jammu and Kashmir no longer qualifies as a state and has become a union territory. Also, now no special powers or perks are given to the citizens of J&K and they are treated like any other citizen of India. Go through the points mentioned below and understand the amendment in the Indian Constitution in terms of Article 370-
- Jammu and Kashmir will now have no autonomous and special status
- Every provision and law within the Indian Constitution can be extended to J&K with full-force
- Directive Principle of State Policy and Fundamental Duties are now implemented in J&K
- Union Territory of J & K will not have any separate flag
- Financial Emergency can be extended to the UT without having to receive prior ratification from its assembly
- If a woman from UT marries a person from any state India, she doesn’t lose her property rights
- RTI (Right to Information) and Right to Education is now a part and parcel of the rights of people of J&K
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