Instrument of Accession (Jammu and Kashmir)
|Instrument of Accession of Jammu and Kashmir state to the Union of India|
|Signed||26 October 1947|
|Sealed||27 October 1947|
|Effective||27 October 1947|
|Condition||Acceptance by the Governor-General of India|
|Signatories||Maharaja Hari Singh,
Lord Louis Mountbatten
|Parties||Jammu and Kashmir
Dominion of India
|Depositary||Dominion of India|
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. By executing this document under the provisions of the Indian Independence Act 1947, Maharaja Hari Singh agreed to accede to the Dominion of India .
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.”  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. India claims that the accession is unconditional and final while Pakistan maintains that the accession is fraudulent.
The preamble states:
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, Jammu and Kashmir Naresh Tatha Tibbetadi Deshadhipathi, Ruler of Jammu and Kashmir, 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").
It is further specified that:
2. I accept the matters specified in the schedule hereto as the matters with respect to which the Dominion Legislature may make law for this State.
Thus the power of the Dominion to make laws was restricted to the matters mentioned in the Schedule namely Defence, Foreign Affairs and Communications and a few ancillary subjects specified in the schedule. For all other matters concurrence of the State Government was essential.
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. An Indian historian and 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.
- Justice A. S. Anand, The Constitution of Jammu & Kashmir (5th edition, 2006), page 67
- Kashmir, Research Paper 04/28 by Paul Bowers, House of Commons Library, United Kingdom., page 46, 2004-03-30
- Patricia Gossman, Vincent Iacopino, Physicians for Human Rights,”The crackdown in Kashmir” (1993),page 10
- Bruce B. Campbell, Arthur David Brenner,” Death squads in global perspective: murder with deniability”(2002),page 271
- Thomas Bruce Millar,” The Commonwealth and the United Nations ”( 1967),page 26
- Sumit Ganguly, “Conflict unending: India-Pakistan tensions since 1947”(2001),page 154
- KASHMIR QUESTIONS by A.G. NOORANI
- Kashmir: The origins of the dispute by Victoria Schofield
- "Jammu all set to celebrate accession day". Sify. Retrieved 2007-12-31.
- Instrument of Accession full transcription at jammu-kashmir.com
- Schofield, Victoria (2003) [First published in 2000], Kashmir in Conflict, London and New York: I. B. Taurus & Co, pp. 56–58, ISBN 1860648983
- Andrew Whitehead, A Mission in Kashmir, (2007) - available online http://www.andrewwhitehead.net/full-text-a-mission-in-kashmir.html
- Jha, Prem Shankar (2003), The Origins of a Dispute: Kashmir 1947, Oxford University Press, ISBN 978-0-19-566486-7
- Original Accession Document
- The full instrument in text mode.
- Proclamation of May 1, 1951 on Jammu & Kashmir Constituent Assembly by Yuvraj (Crown Prince) Karan Singh from the Official website of Government of Jammu and Kashmir, India
- Conflict in Kashmir: Selected Internet Resources by the Library, University of California, Berkeley, USA; University of California, Berkeley Library Bibliographies and Web-Bibliographies list
- Andrew Whitehead's book A Mission in Kashmir, which challenges the official account of the signing of the accession document