By Shri Varshini. V. of School of Excellence in Law, Tamil Nadu Dr. Ambedkar Law University
Jammu & Kashmir was always in the interest of India. The state consists of three regions Jammu, Kashmir, and Ladakh. This place is known for its natural beauty and scenic attractions and has been the favourite holiday destination to many people in the world. Besides, this state is the only producer of almonds and saffron in the country. The state also runs a monopoly over Walnuts, Cherry and apricots.
How can anyone forget apples? Apples from this state are the most in-demand in the markets all over the world. With this backdrop, it is no wonder; it is called the Heaven on earth.
As a step to access this heaven on earth, Union Home Minister of India, Amit Shah on 5th august, 2019 proposed the scrapping of Article 370 of the constitution. The centre also brought in the Jammu & Kashmir Reorganization Bill in Parliament. Union Home Minister, Amit Shah also proposed the bifurcation of the state into two union territories. Though this proposal was welcoming to the Indian Citizens, it was not welcomed by the political leaders of the Jammu & Kashmir.
WHAT IS ARTICLE 370?
Article 370 is exclusively provided to Jammu & Kashmir. Article 370 is under part XXI of temporary and transitional provisions. Article 370(1) (b) provides various powers to the state government. The state government can form their own legislature and laws. However, foreign affairs defence and communications remained with the central government.
This article also says that extending the central law on subjects included in the Instrument of Accession requires mere consultation from the state government. This also states that the state can have its own flag and constitution. This article also mentions about the termination of this article by the President of India by the issue of public notification. This is given in clause (3). This is a temporary article which can be ceased from operation.
Join Lawctopus Law School, the law school you always wanted, online! Check courses.lawctopus.com
WHAT CHANGES WITH SCRAPPING OF ARTICLE 370?
This article made Jammu & Kashmir near-autonomous. Now revoking of this article will make Jammu &Kashmir ordinary from extraordinary. Which means all the laws which were exempted for it will be applicable as per Constitution (application to Jammu and Kashmir) order, 2019. Which means the state is now allowed to declare emergency in the state. J&K assembly will not be able to clear any bills within the state. The aspects which are affected by the repealing of Article 370 are observed below
❖ Constitution of Jammu and Kashmir
As for a fact, we know about the separate constitution for Jammu and Kashmir, but with the scrapping of article 370, it will no longer have a separate constitution. It has to abide by the supreme law of India, Constitution of India.
❖ Citizenship to its people
Article 370 promised dual citizenship to the people of Jammu and Kashmir but after scrapping it, all the people of J&K will be the Citizens of India only. They will come under the purview of Indian citizens and will be recognized as the same by the other nations of the world.
❖ Fundamental rights of its citizen
Prior to the scrapping of the article, the people of J&K did not enjoy all the rights ensured by the Indian Constitution. It could not enjoy completely due to the special status and dual citizenship provided to it. This article provided their citizens only with the Rights in accordance with the state, including property rights and state rights.
But by the scrapping of this article, the people of J&K will be able to enjoy all the Fundamental rights provided by the Indian Constitution. The infringement of the same can be claimed before the honourable high courts or Supreme Court of India.
❖ Flag of Jammu and Kashmir
Hereafter, the privilege of having a separate flag for the state is withdrawn. J&K will be having only the Indian Flag and are obliged to respect the National flag of India. And it will be on par with the entire country.
❖ National anthem
Jammu and Kashmir have to forego their state Anthem and adopt the National Anthem of India. And are hereafter demanded to respect and honour the same.
❖ Working of the legislature
The legislature of the J&K will be no different from the other state legislatures. The Jammu and Kashmir legislature will no longer be able to clear bills with respect to the state. It can decide only for the matters discussed in the state list and few in the concurrent list and all the matters which fall under the ambit of union list will be solely dealt with by the central government.
Hence, matters relating to defence, the security of the nation, atomic energy, foreign affairs, shipping and navigation, foreign loan, inter-state trade, taxes on Income etc., all of these will be under the hands of the central government.
❖ Application of Indian laws
Earlier, only state laws were applicable to the state of Jammu and Kashmir but not now. All the central laws will be applicable to this state. A total of 106 Central laws will be applicable, says Union Home Minister, Amit Shah.
Also earlier, except for defence, foreign affairs finance and communications, Parliament needed the state government’s approval but with the removal of article 370, the parliament need not ask state’s approval for applying laws and is also at liberty to change state’s name and its boundaries.
❖ Geographical changes
Jammu and Kashmir which was a state of India with the exclusive special provision with Ladakh being part of it is now bifurcated as two union territories with J&K as one and Ladakh as another. Where J&K is a union territory with legislature and Ladakh is the one without legislature.
❖ Ownership of property
Before, only the citizens of Jammu and Kashmir were able to buy and sell property in Jammu and Kashmir, but now the property of Jammu and Kashmir will not be restricted only to J&K citizens but also is extended to all the citizens of India.
REMOVAL OF ARTICLE 370: INTERNATIONAL POINT OF VIEW
When it comes to the International point of view, there are mixed responses from the other nations of the world. Apart from Pakistan, China made a comment on this abrogation. China called the decision of India in J&K matter as “unacceptable and void”. The Chinese Foreign Ministry supported their statement by saying that scrapping of article 370 and creating a separate Union Territory would affect China’s territorial integrity and sovereignty..
However, India strongly reacted by reminding China, that India has never interfered with the internal matters of China and also reminded them that the decision taken by India on article 370 is an ‘internal’ one.
Whereas Russia, being a constant supporter of India, has backed India’s move in this matter. Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that “we proceed from that the changes associated with the change in the status of the state of Jammu and Kashmir and its division into two union territories is carried out within the framework of the Constitution of the Republic of India.” And also, the US, the UAE, and Sri Lanka seemed to be backing India’s move in Kashmir matter. Hence, on the International front, there is support coming from many nations.
However good a Constitution may be, if those who are implementing it are not good, it will prove to be bad. However bad a constitution maybe, if those implementing it are good, it will prove to be good. – Bhimrao Dr. Ambedkar
This historic action by the Indian Government is a real brave one. Article 370 was only a temporary, transitional provision. It was supposed to be in operation only till Jammu and Kashmir frames its own Constitution but this special status was continued for considerably longer period of time. This extension was made to establish India’s interest in the region of Jammu and Kashmir. Evidently, for a place in the interest of two nations, it is obvious for India to take such a step.
India’s this move to scrap article 370 doesn’t seem to be a bad one. There have been many laws which could be implemented in Kashmir to punish wrongdoers and make it a violence-free place to live. In reference to all the terror activities in Jammu and Kashmir, it can be protected more effectively with more strong Indian laws.
Only if it comes into the country’s actual territory it can enjoy rights and liabilities granted generously by the constitution of India. Though there are many reasons to support this move, what went little disturbing is the way the government wanted to enforce it. House arrest of political leaders in J&K and disconnecting people by blocking the internet, all this seemed as if the government wanted to keep in ignorance the people of Jammu and Kashmir.
The question here which pops up is, if everything is legally correct and for the welfare of people of Jammu and Kashmir, what could be the possible reason for hiding it from people of that region.
However, in an address to nation, Prime Minister Modi said that article 370 was a hurdle for development of Kashmir and informed that Jammu and Kashmir will be under Central Government’s control and also promised to fill in all the vacant jobs in J&K, it decided to give financial benefits to the Central employees of J&K and security forces  and many more promises were made in his address to Nation.
Anyways, nothing could explain this situation more accurately than the words of Dr. Ambedkar. As he said, the good or bad lies in the hands of the implementing authority. With that note, this is vivid that, the world could now hope to see a prosperous and peaceful Jammu and Kashmir, the so-called heaven on Earth.
The essay published does not reflect the views of Lawctopus.