Article 370 Of The Indian Constitution | Article 370 Explained

Published on 11 Aug 2019 by Shivi

One of the most controversial provisions of the Constitution of India, and one of the most debated topics in the Indian political scene, Article 370 was recently scrapped by President Ram Nath Kovind through an order on August 5. Article 370 has been subject to several speculations, confusion and doubts as it took away the ‘special status’ from the state of Jammu and Kashmir. This article sheds some light on the meaning and application of Article 370 in J&K.

What is Article 370?

Article 370 of the Indian Constitution comes under Part XXI i.e. Temporary, Transitional and Special Provisions. The content of Article 370 includes:

Temporary provisions with respect to the State of Jammu and Kashmir

  1. Notwithstanding anything in this Constitution,--

    1. the provisions of article 238 shall not apply in relation to the State of Jammu and Kashmir;

    2. the power of Parliament to make laws for the said State shall be limited to-

      1. those matters in the Union List and the Concurrent List which, in consultation with the Government of the State, are declared by the President to correspond to matters specified in the Instrument of Accession governing the accession of the State to the Dominion of India as the matters with respect to which the Dominion Legislature may make laws for that State; and

      2. such other matters in the said Lists as, with the concurrence of the Government of the State, the President may by order specify.

Explanation.--For the purposes of this article, the Government of the State means the person for the time being recognised by the President on the recommendation of the Legislative Assembly of the State as the Sadr-i-Riyasat of Jammu and Kashmir, acting on the advice of the Council of Ministers of the State for the time being in office;

  1. the provisions of article 1 and of this article shall apply in relation to that State;
  2. such of the other provisions of this Constitution shall apply in relation to that State subject to such exceptions and modifications as the President may by order specify: 

Provided that no such order which relates to the matters specified in the Instrument of Accession of the State referred to in paragraph (i) of sub-clause (b) shall be issued except in consultation with the Government of the State:

Provided further that no such order which relates to matters other than those referred to in the last preceding proviso shall be issued except with the concurrence of that Government.

  1. If the concurrence of the Government of the State referred to in paragraph (ii) of sub-clause (b) of clause (1) or in the second proviso to sub-clause (d) of that clause be given before the Constituent Assembly for the purpose of framing the Constitution of the State is convened, it shall be placed before such Assembly for such decision as it may take thereon.

  2. Notwithstanding anything in the foregoing provisions of this article, the President may, by public notification, declare that this article shall cease to be operative or shall be operative only with such exceptions and modifications and from such date as he may specify: 

Provided that the recommendation of the Constituent Assembly of the State referred to in clause (2) shall be necessary before the President issues such a notification.

Article 370: Explanation

Article 370 grants autonomous status to Jammu & Kashmir and exempts the state from the application of the Indian Constitution. The article allows the state of J&K to formulate its own laws in all matters except for the matters in the Union List and the Concurrent List such as defence, finance, foreign affairs and communications. 

Under Article 370, Jammu and Kashmir could establish its own separate constitution and a separate flag. The outsiders i.e. non-J&K residents were denied from purchasing any property or holding any property in their name. Along with this, any woman who got married to a person outside the state of J&K would lose her rights of ownership of property. 

The state also had its own laws relating to citizenship and all the laws enacted and applicable in all of the territories of India such as property laws, marriage laws, civil laws, etc. had no applicability over the territory of Jammu and Kashmir. 

Advantages And Disadvantages Of Article 370

The applicability of Article 370 has always attracted controversial opinions about the advantages and disadvantages of the provisions. The advantages of Article 370 can be stated as follows: 

  1. Less competition for the citizens.
  2. More opportunities for citizens due to less interference.
  3. Students had more opportunities as there was no competition from other states.

The disadvantages of Article 370 are as follows:

  1. The citizens held dual citizenship
  2. No reservation for minorities like Hindus and Sikhs.
  3. RTI, RTE, etc. were not applicable in J&K.
  4. Lack of trade due to restrictions on property ownership.
  5. Panchayats did not have any rights.
  6. Part IV of the Indian Constitution was not applicable over the state.
  7. Women lost their property rights if they married non-J&K residents.

The special status of the state of J&K was removed on August 5, 2019, by an order passed by the President of India. It has taken away the special powers which separated Jammu and Kashmir from the rest of the country. Commenting on this controversial decision, the Prime Minister addressed the nation and said that the provision of Article 370 was always a temporary one. The scrapping of Article 370 has been one of the most controversial moves by the Modi-led government and it has created severe unrest in not only the region of Jammu and Kashmir but also the international political paradigm.


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