Government Decides to Revoke Article 370 and 35A in J&K; Proposes Bifurcation of State into 2 UTs

Government Decides to Revoke Article 370 and 35A in J&K; Proposes Bifurcation of State into 2 UTs

  • The Central Government has decided to repeal Article 370 of the Constitution (except for Article 370 (1)) which grants special status to Jammu & Kashmir.
  • Government has also decided to do away with Article 35A which provide special rights and privileges to the permanent residents of the state and defines permanent residents.
  • It has also been decided to bifurcate the state into two Union territories comprising of Jammu and Kashmir, which will have a legislature, and Ladakh, which will be without a legislature.
  • This announcement was made by Home Minister Amit Shah in the Rajya Sabha on August 5, 2019.

How Government Scrapped Article 370 without the Need of Amendment Bill

  • In order to scrap the Article 370, government would have required a constitutional amendment bill under Article 368, and would have needed the approval by the state legislature.
  • So, the government made use of its powers granted under Article 370(3) to cleverly bypass the amendment route and make special status inoperative in J&K.

Article 370(3) reads, “Notwithstanding anything in the foregoing provisions of this article, the President may, by public notification, declare that this article shall cease to be operative or shall be operative only with such exceptions and modifications and from such date as he may specify”

Before and After Outcome of Scrapping Article 370 and 35A of the Constitution

  • Article 370 provided Jammu and Kashmir its own constitution and decision-making rights for all matters except defence, communications and foreign affairs.
  • The Central government was not allowed to introduce any policies, constitutional powers or any kind of internal emergency in the state without prior consultation with the state government unless in case of war or aggression from an external entity.
  • The removal of this Article ceases the separate constitution of Jammu and Kashmir and suspends the clause that allowed all laws to be first be ratified by the state assembly. No other clause other than Article 370 (1) of the Constitution will apply.

370 (1) gives some special rights to the citizens of the state which can be abolished only with the approval of the President.

  • Article 35A will also cease to operate. Now the Kashmiri women, who marry a non-Kashmiri, and their children would no longer lose their right of inheritance. 
  • The non-residents of the state would be able to
    • Apply in jobs and education in Jammu and Kashmir.
    • Purchase land and own property in the state.

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