Constitution of Jammu and Kashmir

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Article 370 of the Indian constitution grants special status to Jammu and Kashmir. Under Part XXI of the Constitution of India, which deals with “Temporary, Transitional and Special provisions”, the State of Jammu and Kashmir has been accorded special status under Article 370. Even though included in 1st Schedule as 15th state, all the provisions of the Constitution which are applicable to other states are not applicable to J&K. Government of India can declare emergency in Jammu and Kashmir and impose Governor's rule in certain conditions. Matters related to Defense, Foreign relations, Communication and Finance of Jammu and Kashmir is under jurisdiction of Constitution of India.[1][2] Till 1965, J&K had a Sadr-e-Riyasat for Governor and Prime Minister in place of Chief Minister.

Historical aspect[edit]

India and Pakistan gained their independence on 15 and 14 August 1947 respectively; J&K chose to remain neutral not joining any dominion. Maharaja Hari Singh (that time the ruler of J&K) signed a standstill agreement with Pakistan. But there was no such agreement signed between Maharaja and Union of India. However, on 6 October 1947, Pakistani Muslim tribes, supported by the government of Pakistan, attacked Jammu and Kashmir on the behest of Pakistan. To save his state Maharaja Hari Singh signed Instrument of Accession to India, so that India could help in defending the state.

Whereas the other states later signed merger agreements, the relationship of Jammu & Kashmir with the rest of the country was governed by a special set of circumstances, and hence given a special position. It was in the pursuance of those commitments that Article 370 was incorporated in the Constitution. The Constitution of Jammu & Kashmir, which Dr. Karan Singh signed into law in 1957, is still in force.[3] [4] India and Pakistan were partitioned in 1947. Kashmir was split as well, with two-thirds going to India and a third going to Pakistan, even though India's share was predominantly Muslim, like Pakistan. A rebellion of Tribal Muslims from the Pakistan side led was suppressed by Indian forces.[5] War broke out. It wasn't settled until a 1949 controversial cease-fire brokered by the United Nations and a resolution calling for a referendum, or plebiscite. India never took the matter to the United Nations for a decision on the accession of Kashmir, but to broker a ceasefire and decide a timeline for removal of the infiltrators. So India never conducted one, while there has been a cry from many corners that a plebiscite was necessary.

Preamble[edit]

Preamble of Jammu and Kashmir constitution is as written in box..


"WE, THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF JAMMU AND KASHMIR,
having solemnly resolved, in pursuance of the accession of this State to India which took place on the twenty sixth day of October, 1947, to further define the existing relationship of the State with the Union of India as an integral part thereof, and to secure to ourselves-

JUSTICE, social, economic and political;

LIBERTY of thought, expression, belief, faith and worship;

EQUALITY of status and of opportunity; and to promote among us all;

FRATERNITY assuring the dignity of the individual and the unity of the nation;

IN OUR CONSTITUENT ASSEMBLY this seventeenth day of November, 1956, do HEREBY ADOPT, ENACT AND GIVE TO OURSELVES THIS CONSTITUTION."

-Preamble of Constitution of Jammu & Kashmir.[6]

Jurisdiction of Parliament[edit]

Union Legislature has very limited jurisdiction in case of J&K as compared to other states. Till 1963, Parliament could legislate on subjects contained in the Union List, and had no jurisdiction in case of Concurrent List under 7th Schedule with J&K. The Parliament has no power to legislate Preventive Detention laws for the state; only the state legislature has the power to do so.

Emergency Provisions[edit]

The Union of India has no power to declare Financial Emergency under Article 360 in the state. The Union can declare emergency in the state only in case of War or External Aggression. No proclamation of emergency made on the grounds of internal disturbance or imminent danger thereof shall have effect in relation to the state unless (a) it is made at the request or with the concurrence of the government of the state; or (b) where it has not been so made, it is applied subsequently by the President to that state at the request or with the concurrence of the government of that state. In December 1964, Articles 356 and 357 were extended to the state.

Fundamental Duties, Directive Principles & Fundamental Rights[edit]

Part IV (Directive Principles of the State Policy) and Part IVA (Fundamental Duties) of the Constitution are not applicable to J&K. In addition to other fundamental rights, Articles 19(1)(f) and 31(2) of the Constitution are still applicable to J&K; hence the Fundamental Right to property is still guaranteed in this state.It is the only state which does not have to give a detailed record on the money flowing in the state and where it is used and how. In the Indian Constitutional history only one Fundamental Right has been added so far and that is Right to Education. This right too has not been extended to J&K.

Official Languages[edit]

Provisions of Part XVII of the Constitution apply to J&K only insofar as they relate to (i) the official language of the Union; (ii) the official language for communication between one state and another; or between a state and the Union; and (iii) language of the proceedings in the Supreme Court. Urdu is the official language of the state but use of English is permitted for official purposes unless the state legislature provides otherwise.

Relations with Government of India[edit]

  • Article 3 in part 2 of the J & K constitution reads as, "Relationship of the State with the Union of India:-The State of Jammu and Kashmir is and shall be an integral part of the Union of India."[7]
  • Article 5 of the part 2 is about extent of "Executive" and "Legislative" powers of the state which tells that Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Assembly has executive and legislative power of all matters except those with respect to which Parliament of India has power to make laws for the State under the provisions of the Constitution of India.[7] Sectors in which Government of India can make laws for Jammu and Kashmir includes Defense sector, Foreign affairs, Finance and Communication.[1][2]
  • Article 147 of Part 12 is about amendment of the J & K Constitution which states that, "No Bill shall be introduced or moved in State Legislative Assembly to amend or change above mentioned articles 3 and 5."[8]

Relations with Pakistan administered Kashmir[edit]

  • Article 48 of Part VI of J and K constitution defines Pakistan Administered Kashmir as "Pakistan Occupied Territory".[9]
  • There are currently 87 seats in J & K State assembly, but article 48 of J & K constitution also recognizes 24 seats from Pakistan administered Kashmir and mentions that these 24 seats will remain vacant till Pakistan ceases the "occupation" of Kashmir and the said area shall be excluded in delimiting the territorial constituencies till that time.[10]

Miscellaneous[edit]

Certain special rights have been granted to the permanent residents of J&K with regard to employment under the state, acquisition of immovable property in the state, settlement in the state, and scholarship and other forms of aid as the state government may provide.

The 5th Schedule pertaining to the administration and control of Schedule Areas and Scheduled Tribes and the 6th Schedule pertaining to administration of tribal areas are not applicable to the state of J&K. The Provisions of the State Constitution (except those relating to the relationship of the state with the Union) may be amended by an Act of the Legislative Assembly of the state passed by not less than two-thirds of its membership. If such amendment seeks to affect Governor or Election Commission, it needs President’s assent to come into effect. No amendment of the Constitution of India shall extend to J&K unless so extended by an order of the President under Article 370(1).

No Bill or amendment can be introduced or moved in either House of the Legislature which seeks to make any change in the provisions that (a) the State of Jammu and Kashmir is and shall be an integral part of the Union of India (Art. 3) (b) the executive and legislative power of the State does not extend to matters those with respect to which Parliament has power to make laws for the State under the provisions of the Constitution of India (Art. 5), (c) of the Constitution of India as applicable in relation to the State (Art.147 (c) and Art. 147. (Art. 147(a)).

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Inside "Indian held Kashmir".". The Express Tribune. 25 February 2015. Retrieved 7 May 2015. 
  2. ^ a b "Article 370". General Knowledge Today. 17 January 2015. Retrieved 7 May 2015. 
  3. ^ http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Integral-review-of-Article-370-overdue-but-needs-cooperation-not-confrontation-Congress-leader-Karan-Singh/articleshow/35733023.cms
  4. ^ http://middleeast.about.com/od/pakistan/a/kashmir-history-backgrounder.htm
  5. ^ http://middleeast.about.com/od/pakistan/a/kashmir-history-backgrounder.htm
  6. ^ http://jklegislativeassembly.nic.in/Costitution_of_J&K.pdf
  7. ^ a b "Constitution of Jammu and Kashmir" (PDF). Official Website of J & K Legislative Assembly. p. 3. Retrieved 6 May 2015. Read page 3 of the document or page 21 of pdf format. 
  8. ^ "Article 147 of Constitution of Jammu and Kashmir" (PDF). Official Website of Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Assembly. p. 67. Retrieved 7 May 2015. Document page 67, PDF page 85. 
  9. ^ "Article 48 of Constitution of Jammu and Kashmir" (PDF). Official Website of Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Assembly. p. 16. Retrieved 7 May 2015. Page 16 of document and page 34 of pdf 
  10. ^ "Article 48 of Constitution of Jammu and Kashmir" (PDF). Official Website of Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Assembly. p. 17. Retrieved 7 May 2015. Page 17 of document and page 35 of pdf 

External links[edit]