Article 370 and Article 35A to be Scrapped

Article 370 and Article 35A to be Scrapped

Article 370 and Article 35A to be Scrapped, Jammu and Kashmir will be a Union Territory with a Legislature

Amit Shah, the Home Minister of India has introduced a Bill for removing Article 370 of the Constitution of India which gives special status towards Jammu and Kashmir. 

The Government also proposed to introduce a bill for re-organization of Jammu and Kashmir. The bill proposed to make Jammu and Kashmir a Union Territory with Legislature and Ladakh Union Territory without Legislature.

The President of India has issued a presidential order The Constitution (Application to Jammu and Kashmir) Order, 2019 in exercising the powers conferred by clause (1) of Article 370 of the Constitution, with the concurrence of the Government of State of Jammu and Kashmir. This order would supersede the Constitution(Application to Jammu and Kashmir) Order, 1954 through which special status was given to Jammu and Kashmir.

The Constitution (Application to Jammu and Kashmir) Order, 2019, states that:  “It shall come into force at once, and shall thereupon supersede the Constitution (Application to Jammu and Kashmir) Order, 1954 as amended from time to time.”

The official notification of the matter would be signed by President Ram NathKovind.

The Centre had also announced bifurcation of the state into two Union Territories (UTs). The government stated that Jammu and Kashmir from now on will be a UT with a Legislature while the Ladakh region would be a separate UT without a legislature. Consequently, India would now have 9 UTs.

Article 370 

Article 370 had given Kashmir its own constitution as well as restricted the Centre Government’s powers to deciding matters of defense, communications, and external affairs and issues stated in the Instrument of Accession of Jammu and Kashmir, Parliament. For any additional area, the Centre had to obtain the state legislature's approval. So far, residents of the Jammu and Kashmir lived under a separate set of laws, which includes those related to citizenship, ownership of property and fundamental rights.

Kashmir also had, by means Article 35A of the constitution, the right towards deciding through its own legislature who is a permanent resident of the region; it restricted outsiders from buying the property or claiming government employments and educational scholarships.

The BJP stated that these provisions are “constitutionally vulnerable” as well as that they are discriminatory and have suppressed the growth of the state.

Jammu and Kashmir would now be governed by the laws applicable towards other Indian citizens.

The scrapping of Article 370 and Article 35A

The scrapping of Article 370 by the Narendra Modi government came as a surprise. It has been in speculation that the government would scrap Article 370 however many held that the Supreme Court is seized with multiple cases involving to Article 370 and Article 35A and thus scarping of Article 370 is not possible.

However, as per the new amendment, the separate constitution of Jammu and Kashmir would cease to be in operation. The separate Ranbir Penal Code would give way to the Indian Penal Code.

Article 35A, making a distinction among the permanent residents of Jammu and Kashmir and the outsiders, would also cease to have any effect.

The reservation laws would be applicable in jobs and education in Jammu and Kashmir like the rest of the Indian states. Outsiders would be eligible for admission in colleges funded through the Jammu and Kashmir government and jobs in state government offices.

Purchasing land as well as owning property by people considered outsiders till now shall be possible. This has been a major reason preventing corporates setting up big units in Jammu and Kashmir. The government has contended that removal of the restriction on property ownership through outsiders would pave way for prosperity in Jammu and Kashmir.

Kashmiri women, who marry a non-Kashmiri and their children, shall no longer lose their right of inheritance.

The difference between “With and without Legislature”

These Union Territories, such as the National Capital Territory (NCT) and Puducherry has their own Legislatures, which means, they elect their own representatives as well as the local government. They are self-administered. Delhi and Puducherry don’t have Lieutenant Governors. Though, they have a limited administerial role.

However, other Union Territories like Chandigarh, Dadra, and Nagar Haveli (DNH), Daman and Diu, Lakshadweep, the Andaman and Nicobar Islands and now Ladakhdon’t have their own Legislature. They are governed by an administration led by a Lieutenant Governor. The Lieutenant Governors are chosen by the President.

Union Territories with their own Legislatures, Delhi and Puducherry, send their representatives to the Rajya Sabha, besides the Lok Sabha. Other Union Territories send their representatives only to the Lok Sabha.

Thus, Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh will now have separate Lieutenant Governors, with the move of Amit Shah for making Article 370 inoperative in Jammu and Kashmir.


eStartIndia Team

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