GOVERNMENT OF INDIA HAS ANNOUNCED KEY REFORMS IN THE FINANCIAL SECTOR

The Union Minister of Finance and Corporate Affairs, India, Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman, recently announced certain reforms in the financial sector on 30-08-2019. The Government of India aims to increase the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the Indian economy from USD 2.6 Trillion in 2017 to USD 5 Trillion in 2024 and stronger banks are an imperative for a USD 5 Trillion economy.

The Government has so far introduced certain productive reforms in the financial sector, a few of which have been listed below. These reforms are said to have increased the profitability of public sector banks (PSBs), reduced the gross non-performing assets (NPAs), etc:

  1. Specialized agencies in place to monitor loans worth more than Rs. 250 Crores
  2. Introduction and implementation of the Fugitive Economic Offenders Act, 2018 as amended thereof (the Act) to confiscate properties and assets of economic offenders who evade prosecution by remaining outside the jurisdiction of Indian courts
  3. Launch of PSBloansin59minutes.com, a digital lending platform for approval of business loans (term loan /working capital loan) applied by micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) ranging from INR 1 Lakh to INR 5 Crores in less than 59 minutes from public and private sector banks and non-banking financial companies (NBFCs), and so on.

Thus, the Government has further introduced certain notable reforms in the financial sector, a few of which have been listed below:

Amalgamation of Bank of Baroda, Vijaya Bank and Dena Bank-

As a result of this consolidation of banks, there would be enhanced capacity to increase credit, stronger presence of big banks in India as well as other countries, less cost of lending due to better operational efficiency, strong growth in retail loan, and increase in profitability.

Consolidation of Punjab National Bank, Oriental Bank of Commerce, and United Bank-

This consolidation would make it the 2nd largest PSB in India with business of Rs. 17.95 Lakh Crore and the 2nd largest branch network in India, with 11,437 branches, and also ensure increased lending capacity, increased current and savings account ratio (CASA), etc.

Consolidation of Canara Bank and Syndicate Bank-

This consolidation would make it the 4th largest PSB in India with business of Rs. 15.20 Lakh Crore and the 3rd largest branch network in India, with 10,342 branches.

Consolidation of Union Bank, Andhra Bank, and Corporation Bank-

This consolidation would make it the 5th largest PSB in India with business of Rs. 14.59 Lakh Crore and the 4th largest branch network in India, with 9,609 branches, and also ensure increased business for the consolidated bank, higher CASA ratio, etc.

Consolidation of Indian Bank and Allahabad Bank-

This consolidation would make it the 7th largest PSB in India with business of Rs. 8.08 Lakh Crore having a nationwide network in India, and stronger presence in South, North and Eastern parts of India, and also ensure increased business, higher CASA ratio, enhanced lending capacity, etc.

As per various newspaper reports, although these consolidations would not lead to employee retrenchment but it is anticipated that there would be offers for voluntary retirements and/or transfers of employees soon.

Further, in order to strengthen the working system of these consolidated banks, the Government has proposed better board committee and risk management committee functioning, accountability of top management to the board committee of nationalized banks, training of directors, etc. These Government reforms may help the country to reach the goal of USD 5 Trillion economy by 2024.

Harini Daliparthy

Senior Legal Associate

The Indian Lawyer

HIGHLIGHTS OF RECENT MEASURES PROPOSED BY GOVERNMENT OF INDIA TO BOOST INDIAN ECONOMY 2019

The Union Finance and Corporate Affairs Minister, Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman, has recently presented certain measures, which are proposed to be taken up by the Government of India to improve the Indian economy, on 23-08-2019.

The highlights of those measures are listed below:

Tax reforms-

Simplification of forms for filing income tax (IT) returns, goods and services tax (GST) returns,

Simplified system of GST refunds,

Digital issue of notices, summons, orders etc by certain IT authorities from 01-10-2019 through centralized computer system only and fast track disposal of the same within three months from the date of reply.

Start-ups-

Self-certification by start-ups with respect to 6 labour laws,

Proposed set up of special cell in the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) to address IT problems faced by start-ups

MSME-

Single consent to establish factory and single air and water clearance for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs),

Stronger Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC) framework supporting MSMEs and home buyers,

Simplified process of GST refunds due to MSMEs in future, i.e. refunds to be made within 60 days from the date of application

Companies-

Name reservation and incorporation of a company to be done within one day and simplified forms of incorporation,

Simpler procedure of approvals for mergers and acquisitions,

Corporate and social responsibility (CSR) violations to be treated only as a civil liability rather than a criminal offence

Banks and finance companies-

Additional lending up to Rs. 5 Lakh Crores to public sector banks (PSBs), that would in turn benefit corporates, retail borrowers, MSMEs, small traders, etc,

Additional credit of Rs. 30,000 Crore to housing finance companies (HFCs) by National Housing Bank (NHB), which would in turn help customers to purchase houses, vehicles, consumption goods, etc,

Reduced equated monthly instalments (EMI) for housing loans, vehicle and other retail loans,

Mandated return of documents taken against loan by PSBs within 15 days of loan closure,

Increase in transparency by way of online tracking of loan applications by customers/borrowers,

Proposed establishment of organization to improve access to long term finance for infrastructure and housing projects.

Access to global markets-

Increased access of Indian companies to foreign funds in global markets through trading of American Depository Receipt (ADR)/Global Depository Receipt (GDR).

Thus, it is anticipated that there would soon be significant reforms introduced in form of amendments to existing laws, bye-laws, rules and regulations, etc that would help to improve the sectors involving infrastructure, banking and financing, start-ups, MSMEs, small traders, individuals, etc and in turn, boost the Indian economy.

Harini Daliparthy

Senior Legal Associate

The Indian Lawyer

COMPETITION COMMISSION OF INDIA IMPOSED PENALTY ON LPG VENDORS FOR ANTI-COMPETITIVE PRACTICE

The Competition Commission of India (CCI) has recently imposed a hefty penalty on 51 liquified petroleum gas (LPG) cylinder vendors for indulging in cartelization in bidding process for supplying LGP cylinders to Hindustan Petroleum Corporation of India (HPCL) on 21st August, 2019. Also, further penalty was imposed on 48 vendors for contravening Section 48 of the Competition Act, 2002 as amended thereof (The Act), whereby the directors or persons in charge of the LPG companies were held liable for contravention of the said provisions of the Act.

The Commission took suo motu cognizance of this case upon receiving an anonymous letter alleging that a cartel was operating in a few tenders floated by HPCL for supplying LPG cylinders in 18 states across India. Thereafter, the CCI directed the Director General (DG) to conduct investigation in the said case.

Upon investigation, the DG made the following submissions in his report: –

  • The price bid which were submitted by vendors showed a similarity pattern. Also, the vendors submitted the bid in close range where they have participated.
  • Vendors were also part of the LPG manufacturers organization where they regularly met as it was common platform for them to meet and indulge in anti – competitive practices.
  • Also, the investigation pointed that several vendors discussed among themselves before withdrawing their bids.

The LPG vendors defended themselves that in the current scenario there are only 3 buyers for 14.2 kg LPG cylinder namely Indian Oil Corporation Limited (IOC), Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL) and Hindustan Petroleum Private Limited (HPCL) which gives them bargaining powers.

The CCI was of view that “the instant case emanates out of public procurement and as such it is a fit case to impose penalties upon the infringing parties”. Such anti – competitive practices in public sector directly affects the consumers as they end up paying higher costs. Moreover, LPG cylinders are an integral part of every household in India. Thus, CCI imposed penalty on all the vendors involved in the cartel, under Section 3 of the Act, i.e. penalty at the rate of 1 percent of their average turnover for the financial years 2013-14, 2014-2015 and 2015-16.

Aakritee Gambhir

Associate

The Indian Lawyer

COMPETITION COMMISSION OF INDIA HAS HELD OYO ROOMS NOT GUILTY OF ABUSE OF ITS DOMINANT POSITION

The Competition Commission of India (CCI) had passed a judgement dated 31st July, 2019 in RGK Hospitalities Pvt Ltd v. Oravel Stays Pvt. Ltd, whereby the Court held that Oravel Stays Pvt. Ltd (OYO), which is in the hospitality and accommodation sector, has not abused its dominant position.

Herein, the Informant made the following allegations pertaining to the agreement it had executed with OYO (Agreement):

  1. That the terms of the Agreement were one sided, unfair and discriminatory, which OYO was able to impose because of its dominant position in the relevant market.
  2. That OYO required the Informant’s hotel to alter their hotel premises as per OYO’s policies and further, subjected the Informant’s hotel to incentives and disincentives, as per OYO’s policy, based on the hotel’s performance.
  3. That OYO refused market access to the Informant for a period of one year during which they could not have entered into any agreement with online aggregators such as MakeMyTrip, Goibibo, Treebo, etc.

Thus, the Informant alleged that such practices of OYO amount to abuse of dominant position under Section 4 of Competition Act, 2002 as amended thereof (the Act).

The CCI made the following observations and held OYO not guilty abuse of dominant position under the Act:

  1. The CCI was of view that the policies of OYO pertaining to rating of hotel’s performance is necessary and deemed justified so as to provide quality services to the consumers.
  2. Further, the clause pertaining to exclusivity of the Agreement was justified as it was done to prevent the Informant from unduly using the benefits of the know-how of OYO to engage in activities with OYO’s competitors.
  3. That OYO’s market share in the relevant market is less than 10 % and thus, the CCI observed that although OYO may be a significant market player but does not have dominance over the relevant market.

Thus, the CCI dismissed the complaint filed against OYO on the grounds that OYO does not hold a dominant position in the relevant market and thus there is no question of abuse of the same under the Act.

Aakritee Gambhir

Associate

The Indian Lawyer

UNDERSTANDING JAMMU AND KASHMIR – AMENDMENT TO ARTICLE 370 AND THE ROAD AHEAD

“Why this discrimination please?”, asked Maulana Hasrat Mohini in his great poetic tone on 17th October 1949 in the Constituent Assembly. The answer to the question of Mr. Maulana Hasrat Mohini was given by Mr. Gopalaswami Ayyangar (a former Diwan to Maharaja Hari Singh of Jammu and Kashmir and the principal drafter of Article 370 of the Constitution of India 1950 as amended thereof). Mr. Ayyangar stated that for various reasons, unlike other princely states, Kashmir had not yet been ripe for integration, as India had been at war with Pakistan over Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) and there was a ceasefire condition prevalent in J&K.

Earlier, the autonomy enjoyed by the State of J&K for a long period of time included the permanent residence of the people of J&K and their rights; non-applicability of Emergency provisions on the grounds of “internal disturbance” without the concurrence of the State; and non-alteration of name and boundaries of the State, without the consent of its Legislature, etc. Later, the J&K High Court brought a change in one of the aforesaid aspects whereby it held that any daughter of the permanent resident of J&K would not lose her rights over land by marrying someone from outside the State.

Thereafter, Article 370 was blamed to strengthen the separatist tendencies in Jammu and Kashmir when allegations regarding the atrocities and crime against Kashmiri Pandits were unfolded. The people in favour of Article 370 argued that it was about providing space, about matters of governance, and about people of the State who felt deeply vulnerable about their identity and felt insecure about their future.

But with passage of time the conditions in the Valley deteriorated, from the youth being misguided by unruly forces to the injustice against women and law and order conditions. The deployment of heavy security forces and Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958 as amended thereof was never accepted by the locals of J&K and they felt that the Indian Government was trying to curtail their rights and freedom. Thereafter, the voice for a separate Kashmir became stronger like never before.

But it is said that the Indian Government, on other hand, failed time and again, when few unruly militant groups kept misguiding the people of Kashmir tried in order to spread hatred against India. The economic condition of the Valley kept deteriorating to the extent that poverty deepened its root.

Thus, the Government of India recently took an important decision of scrapping the special status of J&K including special privileges to “permanent residents” of the state, by exercising the Presidential power under Clause 1 of Article 370, vide Presidential Order dated 05-08-2019.

The Union Home Minister, Shri Amit Shah stated that now the Valley will get all the benefits and there will be no insecurities in the mind of Kashmiri’s regarding their life and future, as this step would generate the feeling of belongingness, which had been missing since independence. This would also help to generate more employment and investment and educational opportunities, which in turn would help the Valley to get out of poverty. It may be said that with this decision a huge step has been taken towards achieving humanity, peace and development for people of J&K as they have been granted the long asked for “AZADI” (freedom) from poverty, illiteracy, injustice, and beyond all ill forces from across the border.

Sourabh Kumar Mishra
Senior Associate
The Indian Lawyer

HIGHLIGHTS OF THE LATEST CONSUMER PROTECTION ACT, 2019

The Government of India has recently passed the Consumer Protection Bill 2019, which received the Presidential assent on 9th August, 2019. This Consumer Protection Act, 2019 (the New Act) is said to have replaced the previous Consumer Protection Act 1986. The New Act aims at strengthening consumer rights and protecting consumer interests, and further lays down simpler procedures to give consumers a speedy redressal. The Act also brings under its jurisdiction, the e- commerce and the tele-shopping industry.

The following are few significant highlights of the New Act: –

  • Establishment of the Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA)

The New Act seeks to establish a Central Authority i.e. the Central Consumer Protection Authority (the new Authority). It looks into matters which relates to violation of consumer rights, false and misleading advertisements, unfair trade practices. The new Authority also can “promote”, “protect” and “enforce” the rights a class of consumers. The said Authority would also have a dedicated Investigation wing which will be responsible for conducting various inquiries/ investigations and it will also have the power of search and seizure.

  • Action against Mis -Leading Advertisements and liability of Endorsers

The New Act has provisions which deals with mis- leading advertisements that falsely describe any product or service or give guarantee which can mis- lead the consumers. This act of the advertisers can be penalised with penalty up to Rupees 10 Lakhs and imprisonment for a term which may extend up to 2 years.

  • Product Liability

The New Act has provisions which deals with “product liability”. A product liability action may be brought by a complainant against a product manufacturer or a service provider, as the case maybe for any harm caused to him on account of a defective product.

  • Improved pecuniary jurisdiction

The New Act enhances the pecuniary jurisdictions of the following forums: –

District Commission: – from Rupees 20 Lakhs to Rupees 1 Crore

State Commission: – from Rupees 1 Crore to Rupees Ten Crore

National Commission: – from Rupees 1 Crore to above 10 Crore

However, the New Act mandates the Commission to suggest mediation between parties before admitting the complaint.

Thus, the New Act is said to have brought new and simpler provisions for protection of consumer interests in the country.

Aakritee Gambhir

Associate

The Indian Lawyer

SUPREME COURT HAS UPHELD CONSTITUTIONAL VALIDITY OF AMENDMENTS TO INSOLVENCY AND BANKRUPTCY CODE 2016

The Supreme Court has recently upheld the constitutional validity of the amendments made to the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code 2016 as amended thereof in 2018 (the Code), in Pioneer Urban Land and Infrastructure Limited & Anr. vs. Union of India & Ors., vide Judgment dated 09-08-2019, thereby treating homebuyers or allottees of real estate projects as financial creditors under the Code and also entitling them to be represented in the Committee of Creditors by authorised representatives.

The real estate developers had challenged the said amendments of the Code on the following significant grounds:

  1. That the amendments would enable the homebuyers to arbitrarily initiate case under Section 7 of the Code to compel them to refund payments which would adversely affect the projects that had already been commenced. Thereafter, the resolution plans would also be rejected by the committee of creditors, of which the homebuyers would also be a part of, and thus, a normal solvent company would have to be forcibly wound up, which would not be in the interest of the developers. Thus, the amendments would infringe the fundamental rights of the developers, i.e. Article 19 (1) (g) of Constitution of India 1950 as amended thereof (the Constitution).
  2. Further, in case of any issue or dispute between allottees and developers, they can approach the authority established under the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act, 2016 as amended thereof (the Act), which is a real estate sector-specific legislation, and not approach the authority established under the Code, which is only a general enactment dealing with insolvency. Thus, there is a need that the Act be given precedence over the Code.

But the Apex Court upheld the constitutional validity of the amendments made to the Code on the following grounds:

  1. That an allottee would trigger the provisions of the Code against the developer only in the event that he has lost faith in the management of the developer, because once the petition for insolvency resolution is admitted, then there would be a lengthy process of rehabilitation of the developer and less chances of recovering the entire amount due from the developer as there would be other creditors and stakeholders making claims against the said developer. Whereas, if an allottee triggers the Act, there would be higher probability that the court would direct the developer to refund the money to the allottee or direct him to adhere to the provisions of the Act and the agreement executed between the allottee and the developer for completion of the construction of the flat/apartment, etc. Thus, there is no or limited scope for allottees to trigger the provisions of the Code arbitrarily and thus, there is no or limited scope for any adverse effect on the interests of the developers.
  2. That the Act provides that the remedies provided to allottees under the Act are only in addition to any other provision of law, and thus, are not exclusive remedies.
  3. That the allottee makes payments in instalments in order to obtain a flat/apartment, which are co-terminus with phases of completion of the real estate project, and thus, homebuyers can be placed equally with other financial creditors who advance certain amounts to the developer-corporate debtor.


Thus, the Supreme Court upheld the constitutional validity of the amendments made to the Code and held that the Act has to be read harmoniously with the Code. The Court further directed the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) to take up applications filed by homebuyers or real estate allottees under the Code, to decide the matters in light of the Judgment of the Supreme Court dated 09-08-2019.

Harini Daliparthy

Senior Legal Associate

The Indian Lawyer

CONSEQUENCES OF AMENDMENT OF ARTICLE 370 AND REVOCATION OF ARTICLE 35 A OF THE CONSTITUTION OF INDIA

Under Article 1 of the Indian Constitution, the State of Jammu and Kashmir is a constituent state of Indian Union and its territory forms a part of the territory of India. On the other hand, Article 370 in Part XXI of the Constitution grants a special status to it. Accordingly, all the provisions of the Constitution of India do not apply to it. It was also the only State in the Indian Union which had its own separate State
Constitution – the Constitution of Jammu and Kashmir. Constitutional provisions of Article 35A and Article 370 have been repealed and amended respectively as announced by our Home Minister Mr Amit Shah with an official notification passed in the Gazette of India signed by the President. This revocation could possibly have positive or negative consequences in the coming future which only time will tell.

Article 35A gave Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) Government the right to decide as to who will qualify to be a permanent resident of J&K, which furthered them to acquire or own land in the J&K region. However, revoking Article 35 A will now open gates for investment in property in J&K. Though its early to predict the impact but one can assume safely that the investment rate would be higher than normal. Since Kashmir had always been a region where political tension is on the rise one cannot be sure as to the increase in the rate of investment there now. Locals fear that it might change the State demographically from Muslim majority state to a Hindu majority one.

The Government has passed Constitution (Application to Jammu and Kashmir) Order, 2019 which will now supersede the Constitution (Application to Jammu and Kashmir) Order, 1954. Thus, the special status granted to Jammu and Kashmir stands revoked.

Also, the Centre has bought J&K Reorganisation Bill 2019 which splits the State into two separate Union Territories — Jammu and Kashmir, which will have a legislature, and Ladakh without a legislature. The consequences of this would be of such a nature that it will bring a lot of political tension especially in the region of Kashmir. The law and order of J&K will now onwards be looked after by the Central Government Also, the Central Government would be empowered to impose financial emergency under Article 360 in the J&K region.

Since the passing of this revocation the Union Government had passed an order for Delimitation of J&K Assembly. The whole political scenario has changed and its consequences are yet to be felt. Laws which previously did not apply to J&K will now apply to it. Moreover, both J&K and Ladakh will share the same High Court.

The real scenario will unfurl itself in a few weeks. But it is certainly a step to put an end to a most unfair provision of the law that helped differ State from State. The days of pampering J&K it seems are over.

Aakritee Gambhir

Associate

The Indian Lawyer

ARTICLE 35-A OF THE CONSTITUTION OF INDIA CEASES TO EXIST

Article 35-A of the Constitution of India 1950 as amended thereof (the Constitution) is an Article which empowers the State of Jammu and Kashmir to define the residents of the State and provide the special rights and privileges to those permanent residents. This Article was added through a Presidential Order. This Article was issued by the Government of India on 14 August, 1954 exercising the powers conferred by Article 370(1) of the Constitution.

Article 35-A confers certain special rights to the people of Jammu and Kashmir who have Permanent Residence Certificate (PRC). However, people who hither to did not have a PRC were compelled to do menial jobs. Now that Article 35-A has been repealed these people can apply for a PRC and live a better and more dignified life. They can also purchase property, participate in Panchayats, and general elections, study in any Government institutions.

Because of not having the PRC, the refugees and some people of Jammu and Kashmir cannot enjoy the right to have their own Property. These refugees who do not have the PRC, do not have the right to participate in Panchayats, elections and these refugees cannot study in any Government institutions.

After the Article 35A will be declared as unconstitutional, the refugees of Jammu and Kashmir can get the right to property, education in government institutions, etc.

Till now the residents of Jammu and Kashmir did not have a right to join the central services of India. In fact, the resident girls of Jammu and Kashmir did not have a right to choose a groom outside the State.

Now that Article 35-A ceases to exist, the residents of Jammu and Kashmir will be able to enjoy fundamental rights that the people of India have.

GOVIND GUPTA

ASSOCIATE

THE INDIAN LAWYER

The After-Effects of Amending Article 370

President Ram Nath Kovind on Monday issued Constitution (Application to Jammu and Kashmir) Order, 2019, which called for provisions of the Indian Constitution be applicable in the state “at once”. Notably, the President’s Order will supersede the Constitution (Application to Jammu and Kashmir) Order, 1954.


Despite tension, fears, and huge anticipation of a big move in the valley, the BJP Government has finally dropped the big Kashmir bomb today. The Home Minister, Mr Amit Shah said in Parliament that Article 370 of the Constitution, which grants special status to Jammu and Kashmir, has been amended. The Home Minister added, Jammu and Kashmir will be a separate Union Territory with a legislative assembly and Ladakh will be a separate Union Territory (UT) without an assembly. Jammu and Kashmir being a UT with the assembly will have a partial statehood status with an elected assembly and LG whereas Ladakh will be ruled directly by the Union Government through LG. Article 370 of the Constitution was a ‘temporary provision’ which promised to grant autonomous status to Jammu and Kashmir and limit the Parliament’s powers to make laws for the State. Constitutional provisions that were applicable to other Indian states are not applicable to J&K. Under Part XXI of the Constitution titled “Temporary, transitional and special provisions”, Article 370 is categorised as a “temporary provision with respect to the State of Jammu and Kashmir”.


Before the amendment, the Centre needed the State Government’s concurrence to apply laws — except in defence, foreign affairs, finance and communications. It meant the State’s Residents lived under a separate set of laws, including those related to citizenship, ownership
of property, and fundamental rights, as compared to other Indians.

What will happen to J&K now?
After’s Kashmir special status is gone, people from anywhere in India will be able to buy land, property or permanently settle in the State.
The BJP has fulfilled their promise as quoted in their manifestos. The BJP manifesto stated:
“In the last five years, we have made all necessary efforts to ensure peace in Jammu and Kashmir through decisive actions and a firm policy. We are committed to overcoming all obstacles that come in the way of development and providing adequate financial resources to all the regions of the state. We reiterate our position since the time of the Jan Sangh to the abrogation of Article 370,”.
It is now left to see the real after-math of such a historical event.

President Ram Nath Kovind on Monday issued Constitution (Application to Jammu and Kashmir) Order, 2019, which called for provisions of the Indian Constitution be applicable in the state “at once”. Notably, the President’s order will supersede the Constitution (Application to Jammu and Kashmir) Order, 1954.

Amid tension, fears, and huge anticipation of a big movein the valley, BJP Government has finally dropped the big Kashmir bomb today, Home minister, Amit Shah said in Parliament today that Article 370 of the Constitution, which grants special status to Jammu and Kashmir, has been amended. The home minister added, Jammu and Kashmir will also be reorganised, Jammu and Kashmir being a separate Union territory with a Legislative assembly and Ladakh a separate Union territory without the assembly. Jammu and Kashmir being the UT with the assembly will have a partial statehood status with an elected assembly and LG whereas Ladakh will be ruled directly by Union Government through the LG.

Article 370 of the Constitution was a ‘temporary provision’ which promises to grant autonomous status to Jammu and Kashmir and limits parliament’s powers to make laws for the state. Constitutional provisions that are applicable to other Indian states are not applicable to J&K. Under Part XXI of the Constitution titled “Temporary, transitional and special provisions”, Article 370 is categorised as a “temporary provision with respect to the state of Jammu and Kashmir”.

Under this Article, the Centre needs the State Government’s concurrence to apply laws — except in defence, foreign affairs, finance and communications. It means the state’s residents live under a separate set of laws, including those related to citizenship, ownership of property, and fundamental rights, as compared to other Indians.

After being re-elected in national polls this year, BJP as quoted in their manifestos have tried to fulfil that promise, it is now left to seen the real after-math of such a historical event.”In the last five years, we have made all necessary efforts to ensure peace in Jammu and Kashmir through decisive actions and a firm policy. We are committed to overcoming all obstacles that come in the way of development and providing adequate financial resources to all the regions of the state. We reiterate our position since the time of the Jan Sangh to the abrogation of Article 370,” the BJP manifesto for the national polls read.

Saurabh Yadav

Intern, The Indian Lawyer