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J&K’s special status challenged

Art. 370 a fraud on the statute: petition

  • A petition has been filed in the Supreme Court challenging the continued existence of Article 370, which gives a temporary autonomous status to the State of Jammu and Kashmir and restricts the power of Parliament to make laws for the State.
  • The petition especially challenges a particular proviso in Article 370 which mandates that the President should first get the permission of the Constituent Assembly of the State of Jammu and Kashmir‟ before declaring the Article null and void.

About | Article 370

  • Article 370 of the Indian Constitution confers special autonomous status to Jammu & Kashmir. It is a ‘temporary provision’ under Part XXI of the Constitution of India, which deals with “Temporary, Transitional and Special Provisions.” The state has different provisions than all other states, according to the Constitution.

Article 370 | History

  • The article provision was drafted by Sheikh Abdullah, since he didn‟t desire temporary provisions for Article 370.
  • Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah, the state’s ‘Prime Minister’ and a prominent leader of the Muslims in the Valley, found the inclusion of Article 370 in the ‘Temporary and Transitional Provisions’ of the Constitution’s Part XXI and disagreed.
  • He wanted ‘iron clad guarantees of autonomy’. Since he suspected that the state’s special status might be lost, and began to advocate freedom from India. This resulted in the dismissing his government in 1953, and place him under preventive detention.

Judiciary and its Verdicts:

  • After five decades, the Supreme Court of India set aside a judgement of the High Court of Jammu and Kashmir which stated that Jammu and Kashmir had “absolute sovereign power” on account of Article 370, in December 2016.
  • The Supreme Court held that the state of Jammu and Kashmir has “no vestige” of sovereignty outside the Constitution of India and its own Constitution is subordinate to the Indian Constitution.
  • The Court upheld the applicability of SARFAESI Act to Jammu and Kashmir as it was under the Union list of subjects for which the Indian Parliament is empowered to enact laws for the whole of India, including Jammu and Kashmir.