What is Article 35A?

Article 35A is a provision incorporated in the Constitution giving the Jammu & Kashmir Legislature  a carte blanche to decide who all are “permanent residents” of the state and confer on them special rights and privileges.

The Article is located in appendix-1 of the Indian constitution within the text of presidential order, 1954.

Historical context of article 35A

Prior to 1947, the state of Jammu & Kashmir came across as on of the princely states, whose citizens were not referred to as British colonial subjects but as subjects of the state, under the British rule. In 1927, the then Maharaja of Kashmir passed the hereditary state subject order which granted the respective state subjects with the right to government office and the right to land use and ownership. These rights were extended solely to the state subjects and eliminated any availability of the some to the now- state subjects.

In October 1947, when the Maharaja ceded  all control to the government of India, the exclusivity of state subjects remain unchanges.

In the 1952 Delhi agreement the government of the state and the union collectively agreed upon the extension of India citizenship to all residents of the state but the state would still be empowered to legislature over the rights of the state subjects who will now be referred to as permanent residents. Article 35A was incorporated into the constitution by an order of the then President Rajendra Prasad on the advice of prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru and his cabinet.

Positive Implication of abrogating Article 35A

  • It will help in integration of the valley with the  rest of the country.
  • It will accelerate development, investment and empowerment in the valley.
  • It will not then violate the fundamental rights under article 14, 19 and 21 of the constitution.

Negative Implications of abrogating Article 35A.

  • The valley has been tense and unitedly opposing the abrogation; could fuel more violence and estrangement in the valley etc.

It is very difficult to abrogate such law. thus, a collaborative effort is required to take decision for protection of the rights and privileges of the people of the state.

 

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