What is the Instrument of Accession?

By BYJU'S Exam Prep

Updated on: November 14th, 2023

The instrument of Accession or acquiring of Jammu Kashmir to India is a legal document executed on 26 October 1947. It was marked by Maharaja Hari Singh, the ruler of the princely State of Jammu and Kashmir. Maharaja Hari Singh agreed to accede his state to the Dominion of India by executing an Instrument of Accession under the provisions of the Indian Independence Act 1947.

Instrument of Accession

During British rule, approximately 565 princely states were present in India. These states were not areas under British India proper and got secured in a system of subsidiary partnerships.

Lord Mountbatten’s remark, combined with the Government of India’s offer to hold a plebiscite or referendum to determine the future status of Kashmir, sparked a dispute between India and Pakistan over the legality of Jammu and Kashmir’s accession to India.

  • The Indian Government Act of 1935 introduced the concept of the Instrument of Accession, through which a monarch of a princely state could grant his empire membership in the “Federation of India.”
  • Some Indian princes were initially opposed to the idea, but by the start of World War II, it had gained acceptance.

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