Article 370 & Kashmir – UPSC GS1

What is Article 370?
Article 370 of the Indian Constitution is a ‘temporary provision’ which grants special autonomous status to Jammu & Kashmir.
  • Under Part XXI of the Constitution of India, which deals with “Temporary, Transitional and Special provisions”, the state of Jammu & 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.
Important provisions under the article:
  • According to this article, except for defence, foreign affairs, finance and communications, 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.
  • Indian citizens from other states cannot 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.
  • Under Article 370 the Indian Parliament cannot increase or reduce the borders of the state.
Critically discuss the brief history of why Article 370 of the Constitution was framed in a certain manner and the importance of the text of the Article from the viewpoint of the people of Jammu and Kashmir. (200 Words)
A whole state of Jammu and Kashmir enjoys special status among the states in India under Article 370 of the Constitution. This state enjoys special position because of the special circumstances under which it was brought under the governance of the Union of India. Like many rulers Maharaja Hari Singh joined Dominion of India by signing the Instrument of Accession on October 26, 1947.
India agreed to accept the accession of Jammu and Kashmir on request of Maharaja, who had found it necessary following the attack of the Azad Kashmir forces in the wake of the formation of Pakistan.
Accordingly the subjects of Defence, External Affairs and Communication in respect of Jammu and Kashmir like other states which joined India as per the Instrument came under the jurisdiction of Dominion of India.
Article 370 Regarding Jammu And Kashmir people:
  1. No law passed by the Parliament regarding the state of Jammu and Kashmir can be applied to the state without the Order of President of India in concurrence of the State government.
  2. No such conditions exist in the case of other states.
  3. Article 370 was and is about providing space & empowering people, in matters of governance, when they felt deeply insecure & vulnerable about their identity & future.
  1. Provisions of article 370 were temporary in nature. Then why it is still continuing?
  2. One important thing to note here is that constitution makers had made this provision & had intended that it would end eventually only when there will be real peace in this area which is still a distant dream.
  3. While most of the Kashmiri people regard it as “a bridge between the state and the rest of the country”.
The call for an Abolition of this article has raised apprehensions of the minorities, and this also tends to sow the seeds of discord.
What is Centre’s view in this regard?
The Centre has asked the Supreme Court to debate on the special status granted to the State of Jammu and Kashmir, saying it was both a sensitive and constitutional matter.
PIL Filed:
A PIL was filed in SC contending that the J&K government, given the State’s special autonomous status under Articles 35A and 370, was discriminatory against non-residents as far as government jobs and real estate purchases were concerned.
What is J&K government view?
  • The State government argued that its special status was sourced from the 1954 Presidential Order, which gave special rights to the State’s permanent residents.
  • The PIL hearing comes in the backdrop of an earlier Jammu and Kashmir High Court, which ruled that Article 370 assumed a place of permanence in the Constitution and the feature was beyond amendment, repeal or abrogation.
  • The court said Article 35A gave “protection” to existing laws in force in the State.
Related Notes:
  • Laxmikanth Chapter on J&K
Related questions:
  1. To what extent is Article 370 of the Indian Constitution, bearing marginal note “temporary provision with respect to the State of Jammu and Kashmir”, temporary? Discuss the future prospects of this provision in the context of Indian polity.(UPSC Mains 2016)
  2. Explain the significance of Article 370 in the Constitution of India (UPSC 1988, UPSC 1990)

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