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 Constitutional provisions of Article 35A and Article 370 have been repealed and amended respectively as announced by our Home Minister Mr Amit Shah with an official notification passed in the Gazette of India signed by the President.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

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