Article 370 of the Indian Constitution: Jammu and Kashmir Reorganization Act, 2019| UPSC

By Aarna Tiwari|Updated : September 21st, 2022

Article 370 of the Indian Constitution recognized Jammu and Kashmir's unique position in autonomy and the power to enact laws for the state's permanent citizens. The Indian Constitution's Fundamental Rights were declared applicable to Kashmir with exclusions in the 1954 Presidential decree, among other things. In August, 2019 by the Presidential Order, the special status of J&K under Article 370 was ended. 

Article 370 UPSC is a significant topic for UPSC Prelims and UPSC Mains. For the last five years, static or dynamic questions have been asked about topics related to Article 370 of the Indian Constitution. The article thoroughly discusses the aspects of Article 370, such as How Article 370 was Removed, the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganization Act, 2019, What 35A is, etc. 

Table of Content

What is Article 370?

Article 370 resulted from the Instrument of Accession, signed by the erstwhile ruler of J&K, Maharaja Hari Singh, in 1947. Article 370 of the Indian constitution was enacted on 17 October 1949 as a 'temporary clause' that exempted Jammu and Kashmir from the Indian constitution, allowing it to establish its constitution and limiting the Indian Parliament's legislative powers in the state. Sir Narasimha Gopalaswami Ayyangar proposed it as Article 306A in the draft constitution. 

  • After drafting the state constitution, the Jammu and Kashmir Constituent Assembly was dissolved. 
  • On 25 January 1957, the State's constituent assembly disbanded itself without recommending either Abrogation of Article 370 or its revision, leaving the provision's existence in limbo.

[Note: The President of India has the right to change the provisions and scope of Article 370 under Clause 3 of the Constitution.]

Article 370: Progression

The Constituent Assembly of Jammu and Kashmir was able to suggest which provisions of the Indian Constitution should apply to the state under Article 370. By declarations of the Supreme Court of India and the High Court of Jammu and Kashmir, the clause was eventually declared to have gained permanent existence.

This meant that all that was necessary to apply a central provision to the state on matters covered by the Instrument of Accession was "consultation" with the state government.

The state government's "consent" was required to apply a central law to subjects other than defence, foreign affairs, and communications.

According to Indian Constitution, Article 370 of the Indian Constitution gives autonomous status to the state of J&K. It is listed in the temporary provision of Part 21 (Temporary, Transitional and Special provisions).

Abrogation of Article 370 of the Indian Constitution

The Constitution (Implementation to Jammu and Kashmir) Order, 2019 was issued on 5 August 2019 by the President of India in the exercise of the powers conferred by Clause (1) of Article 370 of the Indian Constitution, and the special status granted to Jammu and Kashmir was repealed, through the Abrogation of Article 370.

  • After the abrogation of Article 370, Jammu and Kashmir no longer have their own constitution, flag, or anthem, and their residents no longer have dual citizenship
  • All legislative changes, including the Right to Information Act and the Right to Education Act, are now in effect in Jammu and Kashmir.
  • The Indian Constitution and all 890 Central provisions are completely applicable to Jammu and Kashmir now that Article 370 has been repealed. Once Article 370 was revoked, Jammu and Kashmir were considered a part of India in both text and spirit.
  • Article 370 of the Indian Constitution was considered a transitory and ineffective measure that had to be repealed.

Know Why is Article 370 removed?

Article 370 and 35A of the Indian Constitution

Article 35A stems from Article 370 and is unique in that it doesn’t appear in the main body of the Constitution but comes up in Appendix I. Both these articles conjointly gave special status and privileges to the state of J&K and its people until it was repealed in August, 2019.

  • The Provision of Article 370 was drafted by Sheikh Abdullah, appointed by then PM of J&K Maharaja Hari Singh and Jawahar Lal Nehru.
  • On 5th August, 2019 the Constitution (Application to Jammu & Kashmir) Order, 2019 was published in the Official Gazette of India and presented by Union Home Minister Amit Shah. 
  • The order stated the application of all the provisions of the Indian Constitution to the state of J&K, thus leading to the suspension of J&K’s separate constitution. 
  • Moreover, the Indian Penal Code (IPC), 1860, also became operational in the state by replacing its Ranbir Penal Code, which got scrapped with the Presidential order, 2019.

The government bought the amendment, not under the traditional amending provision given in Article 368 of the constitution but under Clause 3 of Article 370. Thus, bypassing the Constitutional amendment route.

Article 35A

Article 35A granted special provisions and rights to permanent residents of Jammu & Kashmir that included the acquisition of property in J&K, privileges in public sector jobs and other welfare. According to this article, only permanent residents of Jammu & Kashmir could buy land and property in J&K and vote in assembly elections. Under the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganization Act 2019, Article 35A was repealed.

After the successful Abrogation of Article 370, the Central Government will not need any concurrence from the state's government to apply laws. Article 35 A ceased to have any effect after the abrogation of Article 370 of the Indian Constitution. Simply put, there will be no distinction between the permanent residents of J&K and the other state residents.

Jammu and Kashmir Reorganization Act, 2019

On 5th August 2019, Union Home Minister Amit Shah introduced the Jammu & Kashmir Reorganization Act in Rajya Sabha. It became effective from 31st October 2019, marked as National Unity Day on the birth occasion of India’s first home minister, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel.

This act reconstituted the state of Jammu & Kashmir into two Union territories, namely Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh. 

The aftermath of revoking Article 370 in Jammu & Kashmir are:

  • It will do away with the radicalization among the state's youth and the state's separatist movement.
  • It will open corridors for growth and opportunities in various sectors, including healthcare and industry within the state.
  • It will bring down the terrorism and corruption levels. 
  • The introduction of any new reform faces teething problems, but it brings great rewards in the long term. 

Article 370 UPSC

Article 370 is a crucial topic to learn from the perspective of the IAS exam. Many questions have been asked from Article 370 of the Indian Constitution in UPSC Prelims and even in UPSC Mains exams.

Article 370 is often asked about in Current Affairs. Candidates preparing in Hindi can also go through Current Affairs in Hindi.

Article 370 UPSC Question

Question: Which part of the Indian Constitution deals with Article 370? 

  1. XXI
  2. XIX
  3. XII
  4. IXX

Answer: Option A

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Article 370 FAQs

  • Article 370 of Indian Constitution emphasized upon the Jammu and Kashmir's unique position in terms of autonomy and the power to enact laws for the state's permanent citizens. Jammu and Kashmir, a section of the wider area of Kashmir, has been the subject of a dispute between India, Pakistan, and China since 1947, it is located in the northern part of the Indian subcontinent and was granted special status under Article 370 of the Indian constitution.

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  • The Abrogation of Article 370 was on 5 August, 2019 by the Indian government. 

  • Sir Narasimha Gopalaswami Ayyangar proposed the concept for Article 370.

  • After the abrogation of Article 370, Jammu and Kashmir no longer have their constitution, flag, or anthem, and their residents no longer have dual citizenship. All changes to the law made by the parliament, including the Right to Information Act and the Right to Education Act, are now in effect in Jammu and Kashmir.

  • Article 370 of Indian Constitution was removed by the Constitution (Application to Jammu & Kashmir) Order, 2019. After Presidential order, the Constitution (Application to Jammu & Kashmir) Order, 2019 was named as the Jammu & Kashmir Reorganization Act, 2019.

  • To reunite Kashmir with the rest of India and incorporate it, Article 370 was removed. The Constitution (Implementation to Jammu and Kashmir) Order, 2019 was issued by the President of India on August 5, 2019, revoking the earlier special status given to Jammu and Kashmir. Jammu and Kashmir's status was thereafter altered to that of a Union territory.

  • On October 17, 1949, a "temporary provision" called Article 370 was added to the Indian Constitution, granting the state of Jammu and Kashmir exceptional rights and allowing it to adopt its own constitution formally. The Indian government could not meddle in state affairs because of its own Constitution, which resulted in the state's slow growth and increased terrorism. Removing Article 370 was one of the main long-standing demands of the BJP government.

  • The state of Jammu and Kashmir was given a unique autonomous status within the Indian union under the "temporary provision" known as Article 370 of the Indian Constitution. The State was free to write its own constitution and choose what additional powers to give the Central Government. These rights were protected by Article 370.

  • अक्टूबर 1947 में, कश्मीर के तत्कालीन महाराजा, हरि सिंह ने एक विलय पत्र पर हस्ताक्षर किए, जिसमें कहा गया कि तीन विषयों के आधार पर यानी विदेश मामले, रक्षा और संचार पर जम्मू और कश्मीर भारत सरकार को अपनी शक्ति हस्तांतरित करेगा। भारत के संविधान का अनुच्छेद 370, 17 अक्टूबर 1949 को डाला गया एक 'अस्थायी प्रावधान' था, जिसने जम्मू और कश्मीर राज्य को विशेष अधिकार दिए, कानूनी रूप से इसे अपना संविधान बनाने के लिए अधिकृत किया।

  • When former princely states gained independence from British rule in 1947, they could join India or Pakistan. Jammu and Kashmir chose to join India based on Article 370. Except for finances, defence, foreign affairs, and communications, it gave the Indian-administrated zone the authority to enact its own laws in all other areas.

    To retain the previous requirements of the territory laws under Article 370 of the Indian constitution, Article 35A was added through a presidential order in 1954. The clause gave Kashmir, governed by India, the power to decide who constitutes a permanent resident. Additionally, it prohibited outsiders from relocating permanently, purchasing property, holding positions in local administration, or receiving educational scholarships in the area.

  • B R Ambedkar had categorically opposed Article 370 because it hampered the unity and integrity of India. 

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