Instrument of Accession (Jammu and Kashmir)

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Instrument of Accession (Jammu and Kashmir)
TypeAccession Treaty
Signed26 October 1947
LocationSrinagar/Delhi
Sealed27 October 1947
Effective27 October 1947
ConditionAcceptance by the Governor-General of India
ExpirationPerpetual Validity
SignatoriesJammu and Kashmir (princely state)Maharaja Hari Singh,
IndiaLord Louis Mountbatten
PartiesJammu and Kashmir (princely state)Jammu and Kashmir
IndiaDominion of India
DepositaryDominion of India
LanguageEnglish

The Instrument of Accession is a legal document executed by Maharaja Hari Singh, ruler of the princely state of Jammu and Kashmir, on 26 October 1947.[1][2] By executing this document under the provisions of the Indian Independence Act 1947, Maharaja Hari Singh agreed to accede to the Dominion of India.[3][4]

In a letter sent to Maharaja Hari Singh on 27 October 1947, the then Governor-General of India, Lord Mountbatten accepted the accession with a remark, "it is my Government's wish that as soon as law and order have been restored in Jammu and Kashmir and her soil cleared of the invader the question of the State's accession should be settled by a reference to the people."[5] Lord Mountbatten's remark and the offer made by the Government of India to conduct a plebiscite or referendum to determine the future status of Kashmir led to a dispute between India and Pakistan regarding the legality of the accession of Jammu and Kashmir to India.[6][7] India claims that the accession is unconditional and final while Pakistan maintains that the accession is fraudulent.[8]

The accession to India is celebrated on Accession Day, which is held annually on 26 October.[9]

Text[edit]

P1. Instrument of accession Kašmir
P2. Instrument of accession Kašmir

The full text of the Instrument of Accession (Jammu and Kashmir) executed by Maharaja Hari Singh on 26 October 1947 and accepted by Lord Mountbatten of Burma, Governor-General of India, on 27 October 1947 (excluding the schedule mentioned in its third point) is as follows:[10]

Whereas the Indian Independence Act 1947, provides that as from the fifteenth day of August, 1947, there shall be set up an Independent Dominion known as India, and that the Government of India Act, 1935 shall, with such omission, additions, adaptations and modifications as the governor-general may by order specify, be applicable to the Dominion of India.

And whereas the Government of India Act, 1935, as so adapted by the governor-general, provides that an Indian State may accede to the Dominion of India by an Instrument of Accession executed by the Ruler thereof.

Now, therefore, I Shriman Inder Mahander Rajrajeswar Maharajadhiraj Shri Hari Singhji, Ruler of Jammu and Kashmir State[11], in the exercise of my sovereignty in and over my said State do hereby execute this my Instrument of Accession and

  1. I hereby declare that I accede to the Dominion of India with the intent that the governor-general of India, the Dominion Legislature, the Federal Court and any other Dominion authority established for the purposes of the Dominion shall, by virtue of this my Instrument of Accession but subject always to the terms thereof, and for the purposes only of the Dominion, exercise in relation to the State of Jammu and Kashmir (hereinafter referred to as "this State") such functions as may be vested in them by or under the Government of India Act, 1935, as in force in the Dominion of India, on the 15th day of August, 1947, (which Act as so in force is hereafter referred to as "the Act").
  2. I hereby assume the obligation of ensuring that due effect is given to the provisions of the Act within this state so far as they are applicable therein by virtue of this my Instrument of Accession.
  3. I accept the matters specified in the schedule hereto as the matters with respect to which the Dominion Legislatures may make laws for this state.
  4. I hereby declare that I accede to the Dominion of India on the assurance that if an agreement is made between the Governor General and the ruler of this state whereby any functions in relation to the administration in this state of any law of the Dominion Legislature shall be exercised by the ruler of this state, then any such agreement shall be deem to form part of this Instrument and shall be construed and have effect accordingly.
  5. The terms of this my Instrument of accession shall not be varied by any amendment of the Act or of the Indian Independence Act 1947 unless such amendment is accepted by me by an Instrument supplementary to this Instrument.
  6. Nothing in this Instrument shall empower the Dominion Legislature to make any law for this state authorizing the compulsory acquisition of land for any purpose, but I hereby undertake that should the Dominion for the purposes of a Dominion law which applies in this state deem it necessary to acquire any land, I will at their request acquire the land at their expense or if the land belongs to me transfer it to them on such terms as may be agreed, or, in default of agreement, determined by an arbitrator to be appointed by the Chief Justice Of India.
  7. Nothing in this Instrument shall be deemed to commit me in any way to acceptance of any future constitution of India or to fetter my discretion to enter into arrangements with the Government of India under any such future constitution.
  8. Nothing in this Instrument affects the continuance of my sovereignty in and over this state, or, save as provided by or under this Instrument, the exercise of any powers, authority and rights now enjoyed by me as Ruler of this state or the validity of any law at present in force in this state.
  9. I hereby declare that I execute this Instrument on behalf of this state and that any reference in this Instrument to me or to the ruler of the state is to be construed as including to my heirs and successors.

Given under my hand this 26th day of OCTOBER nineteen hundred and forty seven.

Hari Singh

Maharajadhiraj of Jammu and Kashmir State.


I do hereby accept this Instrument of Accession. Dated this twenty seventh day of October, nineteen hundred and forty seven.

(Mountbatten of Burma, Governor General of India).

Some scholars have questioned the official date of the signing of the accession document by the Maharaja. They maintain that it was signed on 27 October rather than 26 October. However, the fact that the Governor General accepted the accession on 27 October, the day the Indian troops were airlifted to Kashmir, is generally accepted.[12][13] An Indian commentator, Prem Shankar Jha, has argued that the accession was actually signed by the Maharaja on 25 October 1947, just before he left Srinagar for Jammu.[14]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Justice A. S. Anand, The Constitution of Jammu & Kashmir (5th edition, 2006), page 67
  2. ^ Kashmir, Research Paper 04/28 by Paul Bowers, House of Commons Library, United Kingdom. Archived 2009-03-26 at the Wayback Machine, page 46, 2004-03-30
  3. ^ Patricia Gossman, Vincent Iacopino, Physicians for Human Rights,"The crackdown in Kashmir" (1993),page 10
  4. ^ Bruce B. Campbell, Arthur David Brenner," Death squads in global perspective: murder with deniability"(2002),page 271
  5. ^ Thomas Bruce Millar," The Commonwealth and the United Nations "( 1967),page 26
  6. ^ Sumit Ganguly, "Conflict unending: India-Pakistan tensions since 1947"(2001),page 154
  7. ^ "KASHMIR QUESTIONS by A.G. NOORANI". Archived from the original on 11 July 2011. Retrieved 20 January 2011.
  8. ^ Kashmir: The origins of the dispute by Victoria Schofield
  9. ^ "Jammu all set to celebrate accession day". Sify. Retrieved 31 December 2007.
  10. ^ "Instrument of Accession executed by Maharajah Hari Singh" (PDF). Law Department of Jammu and Kashmir Government. 26 October 1947.
  11. ^ http://jklaw.nic.in/instrument_of_accession_of_jammu_and_kashmir_state.pdf
  12. ^ Schofield, Victoria (2003) [First published in 2000], Kashmir in Conflict, London and New York: I. B. Taurus & Co, pp. 56–58, ISBN 1860648983
  13. ^ "Full text: A Mission in Kashmir". ANDREW WHITEHEAD. Retrieved 27 August 2019.
  14. ^ Jha, Prem Shankar (2003), The Origins of a Dispute: Kashmir 1947, Oxford University Press, ISBN 978-0-19-566486-7

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