Article 370 of the Indian constitution gave special status to Jammu and Kashmir—a state in India, located in the northern part of the Indian subcontinent, The article was drafted 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. 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 & 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.
Important provisions under the article:
1. 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.
2. Indian citizens from other states cannot purchase land or property in Jammu & Kashmir.
3. 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.
4. Under Article 370 the Indian Parliament cannot increase or reduce the borders of the state.
Kashmir and the Indian Constitution
Article 370 limits the authority of Parliament to pass legislation for the State of Jammu and Kashmir. Under Articles 370 (1) (b) and 370 (1) (d), the Parliament has to confine legislation affecting the state to areas enumerated in a list attached to the Instrument of Accession. Legislation on other matters can be passed only if it is explicitly concurred to by the Government of Jammu and Kashmir. Under Article 370 (3), the President can modify or even repeal Article 370. However, this could be done only with the concurrence of the Constituent Assembly of the state.
Some key changes:-
- Jammu and Kashmir will become a Union Territory instead of an independent state.
- Ladakh will be separated from Jammu and Kashmir.
- Ladakh will also become another Union Territory.
- Jammu and Kashmir will not have a separate constitution of its own. Therefore ,Constitution of India will apply on Jammu and Kashmir.
- No separate flag of Jammu and Kashmir.
- Any citizen of India can buy a property or land in Jammu and Kashmir .
- Ladakh will not have a Legislative Assembly.
- Jammu and Kashmir will have elections for Legislative Assembly as before.
- Post of Governor will be changed into Lt. Governor (same as in other Union Territories)
- Article 356 of Indian constitution will apply on Jammu and Kashmir which will allow president’s rule in case of state emergency. Earlier it was governor’s rule.
- It will be a criminal offence to defame Indian flag etc.
- Jammu and Kashmir will not have a separate decision making power in defence, communication or foreign affairs (earlier too they weren’t having).