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ARTICLE 370

August 30, 2019

A CONSTITUTIONAL OF JAMMU AND KASHMIR
Jammu and Kashmir is a mountainous state located in the northern part of India covering an area of 2,22,236 square kilometers and comprises a population of 12,541,302 as of 2011. It is one of the most popular travel destinations and consists of three divisions – Jammu, Kashmir, and Ladakh.

article370 - ARTICLE 370

Article 370 of the constitution came into effect in 1949, which was drafted in Part XXI of the constitution, according to which the constitution pardons the state to grant independent position. It bounds the Parliament’s control to make laws of the state. Matters like proprietorship of property, fundamental rights, and citizenship are sheltered under a discrete rule for Jammu and Kashmir.

Resolution to scrap Article 370

On 5 August 2019, a resolution was driven by Home Minister, Mr. Amit Shah to scrap Article 370 of the constitution to reorganize Jammu and Kashmir to serve as a Union territory and also Ladakh region to stand as a separate entity in the capacity of a Union territory.
However, it is imperative to understand what actually constitutes Article 370 and how it affects the vital aspects such and governance in Jammu and Kashmir.

What is Article 370?

Article 370 is considered to be the first article drafted in Part XXI of the constitution explaining about the ‘Temporary, Transitional and Special Provisions’. This Article could be understood as temporary in the sense that the Jammu and Kashmir Constituent Assembly had a right to modify/delete/retain it. However, Jammu and Kashmir as a state chose to retain it. Another interpretation was that agreement was temporary until a referendum.

History of Article 370

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

Provisions of Article 370

This article mentions that state government’s consensus is necessary for applying any law other than defence, foreign affairs, finance and communication. Hence the resident of this state lives under a separate set of laws related to citizenship, ownership of property, and fundamental rights as compared to other Indians. As a result of this provision, Indian citizen from any other state cannot purchase land or property in Jammu & Kashmir.
Further to mention that under this Article, no power resides with the Centre to declare financial emergency under Article 360 in the state. However, emergency in state can be declared only in case of war or external aggression. Union government can therefore not declare emergency on grounds of internal disturbances or imminent danger unless state government desires.

Conclusion

The abolition of Article 370 of the constitution would terminate Kashmir’s special status as compared to other states in its 1st schedule of our constitution. The demand to the eradication of Article 370 has been continually enunciated by the BJP.

The committee formed by BJP to voice the elimination of Article 370 explained that serves no significance and causes unnecessary suspicion to many in Kashmir. But most importantly, it is this article that gives a constitutional finality to the entire region of Jammu and Kashmir being an integral part of India.

Vaishali Gupta

MBA FP 2019

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