Kashmir turmoil: What is Article 370? What does the Government notification say?
(PTI Photo)

The Centre on Monday declared Jammu and Kashmir as a Union Territory with legislature. Under the Jammu and Kashmir Re-organisation Bill, Ladakh will be taken out of the state and will be a Union Territory without legislature.

This came after Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Monday proposed in the Rajya Sabha to revoke Article 370 of the Constitution in Jammu and Kashmir, ending the special status to the state. Shah moved the amendment amid uproar by opposition members. Shah said: "I am presenting the resolution to revoke Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir except the first clause 370 (1)."

The government on August 5 imposed Section 144 of the CrPC in Jammu and Kashmir (J&K)’s Srinagar district. Multiple political leaders were also detained or arrested. National Conference (NC)’s Omar Abdullah and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)’s Mehbooba Mufti were also placed under house arrest.

Political parties in J&K had expressed apprehensions about such action after the Centre deployed additional troops and curtailed the Amarnath Yatra. Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik had earlier dismissed speculations that the Centre might be planning to do away with Article 35A of the Constitution, which gives exclusive rights to the state's residents in government jobs and land.

What is Article 370?

According to the Constitution of India, Article 370 provides temporary provisions to the state of Jammu and Kashmir, granting it special autonomy. The article says that the provisions of Article 238, which was omitted from the Constitution in 1956 when Indian states were reorganised, shall not apply to the state of Jammu and Kashmir.

In 1949, the then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru had directed Kashmiri leader Sheikh Abdullah to consult Ambedkar (then law minister) to prepare the draft of a suitable article to be included in the Constitution. Article 370 was eventually drafted by Gopalaswami Ayyangar. Article 370 is drafted in Amendment of the Constitution section, in Part XXI, under Temporary and Transitional Provisions.

The original draft explained "the Government of the State means the person for the time being recognised by the President as the Maharaja of Jammu and Kashmir acting on the advice of the Council of Ministers for the time being in office under the Maharaja's Proclamation dated the fifth day of March, 1948." On November 15, 1952, it was changed to "the Government of the State means the person for the time being recognised by the President on the recommendation of the Legislative Assembly of the State as the Sadr-i-Riyasat (now Governor) of Jammu and Kashmir, acting on the advice of the Council of Ministers of the State for the time being in office." Under Article 370, the Indian Parliament cannot increase or reduce the borders of the state.

What does the Government notification of scrapping Article 370 say?

Shortly after Home Minister Amit Shah tabled a resolution to this effect in Rajya Sabha, President Ram Nath Kovind came out with a notification -- The Constitution (Application to Jammu and Kashmir) Order, 2019 that will come into force immediately.

The order will supersede the Constitution (Application to Jammu and Kashmir) Order, 1954 as amended from time to time.

The notification also made clear that all the provisions of the Constitution as amended from time to time, shall apply in relation to the state of Jammu and Kashmir and the exceptions and modifications subject to which they shall so apply.

It also added a clause (4) to Article 367 which said,"(4) For the purposes of this Constitution as it applies in relation to the State of Jammu and Kashmir -

(a) References to this Constitution or to the provisions thereof shall be construed as references to the Constitution or the provisions thereof as applied in relation to the said State;

(b) References to the person for the time being recognized by the President on the recommendation of the Legislative Assembly of the State as the Sadar-i-Riyasat of Jammu and Kashmir, acting on the advice of the Council of Ministers of the State for the time being in office, shall be construed as references to the Governor of Jammu and Kashmir;

(c) References to the Government of the said State shall be construed as including references to the Governor of Jammu and Kashmir acting on the advice of his Council of Ministers; and

(d) In proviso to clause (3) of Article 370 of this Constitution, the expression "Constituent Assembly of the State referred to in clause (2)" shall read "Legislative Assembly of the State"." (ANI)

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