Article 370 has given Jammu and Kashmir an autonomous status as a result of which it could never be an integral part of India. Over the years political parties within the state and at the center used the provision for their benefit and as a vote-churning entity.
History Behind Article 370
In 1947 when India became independent, Maharaja Hari Singh was the ruler of the princely state of Kashmir and was given the option to either join India or Pakistan or remain as an independent state.
At that time Hari Singh could not take any decision. In October 1947 Pakistan and India went into war for the first time after Pakistan supported a Muslim insurgency in Kashmir. On the request of the Maharaja, India agreed to offer armed assistance in return for accessing the state to India.
After the war ended in 1949 and a ceasefire line was established, the status of the territory continued to be in dispute as an agreed referendum that could confirm the accession was never held. That is why Article 370 was inserted as a ‘temporary provision’ in the Constitution.
According to the confidant of the then PM Nehru at that time, Gopalaswami Ayyangar, unlike other princely states, Kashmir was not yet ripe for integration since both Pakistan and India had fought for Kashmir. Ayyangar believed that these conditions were unusual and abnormal and hence Article 370 was incorporated.
10 Facts About Article 370
- Jammu and Kashmir will have its own Constitution that will be framed by a special Constituent Assembly of the state.
- Parliament will have no role in making any law for the state without any consent of Jammu and Kashmir State Legislature.
- The Indian Parliament cannot make an international treaty/agreement that will affect the disposition of any part of the State.
- The residuary power concerned with the Jammu and Kashmir will always rest with the State Government and will have nothing to do with the Union Government.
- The Fifth Schedule related to administration and controls Scheduled Areas and Scheduled Tribes as well as the Sixth Schedule related to the Tribal Areas is not applicable to the State of J & K.
- The Indian Constitution denies the right of citizenship to a person who has migrated to Pakistan. But the same is not applicable to Jammu and Kashmir residents who migrated to any other territory including Pakistan according to Article 370. Such a person can continue to remain a citizen of India after he returns to the territory of that State.
- Article 370 bestows certain special rights to the permanent residents of the State regarding employment, and acquisition of immovable property in J&K.
- The proclamation of emergency made by the Indian President under Article 352 due to armed rebellion will have no effect on the State of Jammu and Kashmir without the consent of the State government.
- The Indian Government does not hold any power to make any suspension in the Constitution of the State on the basis of failure to follow the directions given by the Union. In the case, there is any breakdown in the machinery of the State, Governor’s Rule will have to be imposed. However, in 1964, Articles 356 arid 357 was extended which allows the Union government to take over the administration of the State in the case of breakdown of Constitutional machinery.
- The Jammu and Kashmir High Court has very little powers. It can only announce enforcement of the Fundamental Right but cannot issue writs or declare any law unconstitutional.