Jammu & Kashmir was a former Indian state (now a Union Territory) located at the northern tip. It was ruled by a Maharaja. The state shares border with Afghanistan, Pakistan, and China. In the process, both countries have forcibly grabbed many parts of the state forcibly. But still, the largest portion of the original state of Jammu & Kashmir remains as a state within India. The residents of Jammu and Kashmir lived under a separate set of laws and regulation, including those related to citizenship, ownership of property, and fundamental rights, as compared to other Indians.
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In 1947, at the time of independence, the State of Jammu and Kashmir decided not to join either Pakistan or India. India welcomed this decision, but Pakistan attempted to annex the State militarily. The Maharaja sought Indian help to save his territory and people who were being killed and looted by the Pakistani militants. The then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru accepted Jammu & Kashmir’s accession to India. The Maharaja signed the “instrument of Accession” with certain concessions for the autonomy of the State. This special status of the State is enshrined in Article 370 of the Indian Constitution. This Article cannot be amended.
Important Erstwhile Features – Special Status of Jammu and Kashmir
- The State of Jammu and Kashmir has its own Constitution apart from Indian constitution.
- This state follows ‘dual citizenship’- Citizenship of Jammu and Kashmir and India.
- The residuary power of the state lies with the Legislature of the Jammu and Kashmir and not the Parliament of India.
- Except for defense, foreign affairs, finance and communications, the Parliament needs the state government’s concurrence for applying all other laws.
- The national emergency declared in the ground of war or external aggression shall have an automatic extension to the State.
- The national emergency proclaimed on the grounds of armed rebellion, shall not have an automatic extension to Jammu and Kashmir.
- The Governor of the State is to be appointed only after consultation with the Chief Minister of that State.
- Financial Emergency under Article 360 of Indian constitution cannot be imposed on the State.
- Directive Principle of Policy and Fundamental duties enshrined in the Indian constitution are not applicable to Jammu and Kashmir.
- Apart from the President‘s rule, the Governor’s rule can also be imposed on the State for a maximum period of six months.
- The preventive detention laws as mentioned in Article 22 of Indian constitution do not have an automatic extension to the State.
- The name, boundary or territory of the State of Jammu and Kashmir cannot be changed by the Parliament without the concurrence of the State Legislature.
- Article 19(i) (f) and 31 (2) of Indian constitution have not been abolished for this State and ‘Right to property’ still, stands guaranteed to the people of Jammu and Kashmir.
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