Article 35A - What will change in Jammu Kashmir after the end of Article 35 A

PDP MP Fayaz Ahmad Mir protests against the Union Government's decision on scrapping Article 370 of the Constitution and to give Jammu and Kashmir a Union Territory status; at Parliament in New Delhi on Aug 5, 2019. (Photo: IANS)

Amidst tumultuous uproar as well as strong criticisms, the BJP government headed by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi took some bold steps with regard to the status of governance in the valley of Jammu and Kashmir. The government has now decided to roll back the Article 370 and Article 35(A). Repealing these two articles will scrap the special status and exclusive powers enjoyed by the State of Kashmir. This will mean that Kashmir will come in par with all the other states and will be governed by the same laws that govern the rest of India. The implications of removing 35(A) could mean some significant changes effected to the face of Jammu and Kashmir.

Overview of Article 35(A)

As per the provisions contained in Article 35(A), the state government heading Jammu and Kashmir can define who the permanent residents of the state are. This article came into force earlier following the Constitution (Application to J&K) order, 1954, which was passed by Rajendra Prasad, the then president on the advice of the then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru.

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Definition of permanent resident of Kashmir

At the time of adopting the article 35(A) in 1956, the state’s constitution defined the term ‘permanent resident’ as someone who was the subject of the state as on May 14, 1954, or the one who had been the resident of the state for more than 10 years and has acquired an immovable property through legal means.

What the article 35(A) implied

The clauses contained in the Article 35(A) would bar anyone from outside Jammu and Kashmir (who is not a permanent resident) from getting a state job or owning a property in the state. This article is also known as permanent residents’ law. Yet another important provision of article 35(A) deprives the state’s female residents’ right to property if they get married to an outsider. This provision will eventually extend to the children born to such a female.

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What has changed now in Kashmir?

After the repealing of Article 35(A), Kashmir will no longer enjoy any special status or powers.

In response to the proposal by Amit Shah, President Ram Nath Kovind issued the Constitution (Application to Jammu and Kashmir) Order, 2019, stating that the provisions of the Indian Constitution will henceforth be applicable to J&K.

The Constitution (Application to Jammu and Kashmir) Order, 2019 takes effect "at once", and shall "supersede the Constitution (Application to Jammu and Kashmir) Order, 1954".
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The promulgation issued by the President observes, "All the provisions of the Constitution shall apply in relation to the state of Jammu and Kashmir."

The order also added that in the proviso to clause (3) of Article 370, the term "Constituent Assembly of the State referred to in clause (2)" will henceforth read as "Legislative Assembly of the State".

Kashmir comes on par with any other state in India.
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The present legislative moves by the central government has scrapped the special status and powers to the state of Kashmir. Henceforth, all the laws that govern the other states of India will come to govern the state of Kashmir also.

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