Why the repeal of Article 370 has become a topic of heated debate? The question that arouses in every person’s mind. Let’s read more about it.
Counted as one of the most significant moves of the central government of retracting of Article 370 and Article 35A, is also considered as an initiative for making Jammu & Kashmir an integral part of India. The Home Minister of India, Amit Shah, read out Presidential notification in the parliament on 5th August, seeking to assert the constitutional supremacy over the state.
With the voting of 351 members of parliament in support and 72 against, Article 370 was nullified. Along with this, the state of Jammu & Kashmir is bifurcated into two union territories, Jammu & Kashmir, with a legislature and Ladakh, without a legislature, the house of parliament also voted and passed the bill for the redrawing of the map of the state with 370 in favour and 70 members against.
The bill is due the President’s signature. However, prior to moving ahead with the updates, let’s get the cognitive knowledge of Article 370 and Article 35A.
This article in the Constitution of India provides a temporary and special autonomous status to Jammu and Kashmir, under part XXI of the Constitution of India. This part grants “Temporary, Transitional and Special Provision”, through which the provisions under the Constitution are not applicable to J&K. One telling example for this is that the state had Sard-e-Riyasat instead of Governor and Prime Minister in place of Chief Minister till 1965.
Provisions of Article 370:
Apart from defence, finance, foreign affairs, and communications, Parliament requires the state government’s concurrence for applying any law in the state. Subsequently, the denizens are entitled with a separate set of laws. The laws include ownership of property, separate citizenship, and even fundamental rights.
Article 360, Financial Emergency can not be declared by the Centre, in the state. The emergency can only be declared in case of external aggression or war. But not on the grounds of internal disturbances or any imminent danger. The Central Government can request or suggest the State government for any such step.
Moreover, Article 35A from the Constitution of India defines the permanent residents of the state of Jammu & Kashmir. The constitution was amended by the insertion by President Rajendra Prasad on the advice of the Nehru-led Union Government of Article 35A through Constitution (Application to Jammu and Kashmir) Order 1954.
The Text of Article 35A is as forth:
AFTER ARTICLE 35, THE FOLLOWING NEW ARTICLE SHALL BE ADDED, NAMELY:
“35A. Saving of laws with respect to permanent residents and their rights,
Notwithstanding anything contained in this Constitution, no existing law in force in the State of Jammu and Kashmir, and no law hereafter enacted by the Legislature of the State,
A) Defining the classes of persons who are, or shall be, permanent residents of the State of Jammu & Kashmir; or
B) Conferring on such permanent residents any special rights and privileges or imposing upon other persons any restrictions as respects
1) Employment under the State Government
2) Acquisition of immovable property in the State
3) Settlement in the State; Or
4) Right to scholarships and such other forms of aid as the State Government may provide, shall be void on the ground that it is inconsistent with or takes away or abridges any rights conferred on the other citizens of India by any provision of this part.
Through the high heated arguments in the Parliament, Amit Shah asserted that Jammu & Kashmir including Pakistan Occupied Kashmir and Aksai Chin were an “inseparable part of India”. Shah further describes Article 370 as a Barrier between Kashmir and the rest of the country and by repealing the Article 370 and Article 35 A, the chapter in the Constitution of India will be effectively re-written post-independence.