What is Article 370?

 

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This article is part of the series:
Constitution of India

Article 370

 


In view of its importance the text of the article 370 (without amendments) is reproduced below:

Article 370 of the Constitution of India

1. Notwithstanding anything itution:

a. the provisions of article 238 (now repealed) shall not apply in relation to the state of Jammu and Kashmir,

b. the power of parliament to make laws for the said state shall be limited to;

i. those matters in the union list and the concurrent list which, in consultation with the government of the state, are declared by the president to correspond to matters specified in the Instrument of Accession governing the accession of the state to the dominion of India as the matters with respect to which the dominion legislature may make laws for that state; and

ii. such other matters in the said Lists, as, with the concurrence of the government of the state, the president may by order specify.

Explanation: For the purpose of this article, the government of the state means the person for the time being recognized by the president as the Maharajah of Jammu and Kashmiracting on the advice of the council of ministers for the time being in office under the Maharaja’s proclamation dated the fifth day of March, 1948;

c. the provisions of article 1 and of this article shall apply in relation to this State;

d. such of the other provisions of this constitution shall apply in relation to that state subject to such exceptions and modifications as the president may by order specify i. Provided that no such order which relates to the matters specified in the instrument of accession of the state referred to in paragraph

(i) of sub-clause (b) shall be issued except in consultation with the government of the state:

ii. Provided further that no such order which relates to matters other than those referred to in the last preceding proviso shall be issued except with the concurrence of the government.

2. If the concurrence of the government of the state referred to in paragraph

(ii) of sub-clause (b) of clause

(1) or in second proviso to sub-clause

(d) of that clause be given before the constituent assembly for the purpose of framing the constitution of the state is convened, it shall be placed before such assembly for such decision as it may take thereon.

3. Notwithstanding anything in the foregoing provisions of the article, the president may, by public notification, declare that this article shall cease to be operative or shall be operative only with such exceptions and modifications and from such date as he may notify:

Provided that the recommendation of the constituent assembly of the state referred to in clause (2) shall be necessary before the president issues such a notification.

4. In exercise of the powers conferred by this article the president, on the recommendation of the constituent assembly of the state of Jammu and Kashmir, declared that, as from the 17th day of November, 1952, the said art. 370 shall be operative with the modification that for the explanation incl.In exercise of the powers conferred by this article the President, on the recommendation of the constituent assembly of the state of Jammu and Kashmir, declared that, as from the 17th day of November, 1952, the said art. 370 shall be operative with the modification that for the explanation in cl.(1) thereof the following Explanation is substituted namely:

Explanation: For the purpose of this article, the government of the state means the person for the time being recognised by the president on the recommendation of the legislative assembly of the state as the Sadar-I-Riyasat of Jammu and Kashmir, acting on the advice of council of ministers of the state for the time being in office.

Implications[edit]

This article specifies that except for Defence, Foreign Affairs, Finance and Communications,(matters specified in the instrument of accession) the Indian Parliament needs the State Government’s concurrence for applying all other laws. Thus the state’s residents lived under a separate set of laws, including those related to citizenship, ownership of property, and fundamental rights, as compared to other Indians.

Similar protections for unique status exist in tribal areas of India including those in Himachal PradeshArunachal PradeshAndaman & Nicobar Islands and Nagaland however it is only for the state of Jammu and Kashmir that the accession of the state to India is still a matter of dispute between India and Pakistan still on the agenda of the UN Security Council and where the Government of India vide 1974 Indira-Sheikh accord committed itself to keeping the relationship between the Union and Jammu and Kashmir State within the ambit of this article .

The 1974 Indira-Sheikh accord mentions that ” The State of Jammu and Kashmir which is a constituent unit of the Union of India, shall, in its relation with the Union, continue to be governed by Article 370 of the Constitution of India ” .

In notifications issued as far back as 1927 and 1932, the state created various categories of residents – with some being called permanent residents (PRs) with special rights. Though the law did not discriminate between female and male PRs, an administrative rule – thanks to in-built patriarchy or misogyny – made it clear that women could remain PRs only till marriage. After that they had to seek a fresh right to remain PRs. And if a woman married someone who wasn’t a Kashmiri PR, she automatically lost her own PR status. In 2004, the state high court, in the case of State of J&K vs Sheela Sawhney, declared that there was no provision in the existing law dealing with the status of a female PR who married a non-resident. The provision of women losing their PR status after marrying outside the state, therefore, did not have any legal basis. This decision was historic because it corrected an administrative anomaly and brought relief to women who married outside the state. a Progressive Democratic Party government, led ironically by a woman, Mehbooba Mufti, passed a law to overturn the court judgment by introducing a Bill styled “Permanent Residents (Disqualification) Bill, 2004’. This was not Mufti’s solo effort. Omar Abdullah’s party, the National Conference, backed this Bill and got it passed in the assembly. But it did not ultimately see the light of day for various reasons.[1]

Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah, the state’s ‘Prime Minister’ and leader of the Muslims in the Valley, found the inclusion of Article 370 in the ‘Temporary and Transitional Provisions’ of the Constitution’s Part XXI unsettling. He wanted ‘iron clad guarantees of autonomy’. Suspecting that the state’s special status might be lost, Abdullah advocated independence from India, causing New Delhi to dismiss his government in 1953, and place him under preventive detention.[2]

Some argue[citation needed] that the President may, by public notification under article 370(3), declare that Article 370 shall cease to be operative and no recommendation of the Constituent Assembly is needed as it does not exist any longer. Others say it can be amended by an amendment Act under Article 368 of the Constitution and the amendment extended under Article 370(1). Art. 147 of the Constitution of Jammu and Kashmir states no Bill or amendment seeking to make any change in the provisions of the constitution of India as applicable in relation to the State; shall be introduced or moved in either house of the Legislature. As per Art. 5 of the Constitution of Jammu and Kashmir the executive and legislative power of the State extends to all matters except those with respect to which Parliament has power to make laws for the State under the provisions of the Constitution of India as applicable in relation to this state.

Constitution of Jammu And Kashmir[edit]

Article 1 of the Constitution of Jammu and Kashmir states that the State of Jammu and Kashmir is and shall be an integral part of the Union of India. Article 5 states that the executive and legislative power of the State does not extend to matters those with respect to which Parliament has power to make laws for the State under the provisions of the Constitution of India. These provisions cannot be amended. The constitution was adopted and enacted on 17 November 1956.

Applicability of the Constitution of India to J&K[edit]

In exercise of the powers conferred by clause (1) of article 370 of the Constitution, the President, with the concurrence of the Government of the State of Jammu and Kashmir made the The Constitution (Application to Jammu and Kashmir) Order, 1954 which came into force on 14 May 1954.

 

Article 370 of the Indian Constitution is a law that grants special autonomous status to Jammu and Kashmir.Article 370 was worked out in late 1947 between National Conference leader Sheikh Abdullah, who had by then been appointed Prime Minister of J&K by Maharaja Hari Singh, and former Indian Prime Minister Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru, who kept the Kashmir portfolio with himself and kept Sardar Patel, the then Home Minister, out of it.This article specifies that except for Defence, Foreign Affairs, Finance and Communications (matters specified in the instrument of accession), the Indian Parliament needs the State Government’s concurrence for applying all other laws.Thus the state’s residents lived under a separate set of laws, including those related to citizenship, ownership of property, and fundamental rights, as compared to other Indians.The BJP has been demanding repeal of the provision with the party’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi recently claiming that both Congress and National Conference had ‘misused’ Article 370 to deprive the people of the state of their fundamental rights and promote communalism, separatism and politics of regional discrimination.Modi said under Article 370 Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah’s sister, who is married to Congress leader Sachin Pilot, did not enjoy the same rights in the state as Omar did.To this, Omar replied: ‘He very conveniently used me and my sister as examples to illustrate a point that has no bearing in truth. Either he lies or is ill-informed.’(With inputs from Wikipedia)

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NEW DELHI: Article 370 of the Indian Constitution is a ‘temporary provision’ which grants special autonomous status to Jammu and Kashmir. Under Part XXI of the Constitution of India, which deals with “Temporary, Transitional and Special provisions”, the state of Jammu and Kashmir has been accorded special status under Article 370.

All the provisions of the Constitution which are applicable to other states are not applicable to J&K. For example, till 1965, J&K had a Sadr-e-Riyasat for governor and Prime Minister in place of chief minister.

The provision was drafted in 1947 by Sheikh Abdullah, who had by then been appointed Prime Minister of Jammu and Kashmir by Maharaja Hari Singh and Jawahar Lal Nehru. Sheikh Abdullah had argued that Article 370 should not be placed under temporary provisions of the Constitution. He wanted ‘iron clad autonomy’ for the state, which Centre didn’t comply with.

According to this Article, except for defence, foreign affairs, finance and communications, the Parliament needs the state government’s concurrence for applying all other laws. Thus the state’s residents live under a separate set of laws, including those related to citizenship, ownership of property, and fundamental rights, as compared to other Indians. As a result of this provision, Indian citizens from other states can not purchase land or property in Jammu & Kashmir.

Under Article 370, the Centre has no power to declare financial emergency under Article 360 in the state. It can declare emergency in the state only in case of war or external aggression. The Union government can therefore not declare emergency on grounds of internal disturbance or imminent danger unless it is made at the request or with the concurrence of the state government.

By far, the most debated and discussed article in the entire Constitution, Modi’s suggestion on a debate on the abrogation of Article 370, has once again brought this provision in the limelight.

 

 

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