Home Minister Amit Shah on 5 August 2019 announced scrapping of Article 370 of the Constitution that provides special status to the state of Jammu and Kashmir. The state will now be divided into two Union TerritoriesLadakh, and Jammu and Kashmir. While the Ladakh UT will be without a legislature, the UT of J&K will be with legislatureArticle 370 exempted Jammu & Kashmir from the Indian Constitution (except Article 1 and Article 370 itself) and permitted the state to draft its own Constitution. It restricted Parliament’s legislative powers in respect of J&K, limiting it to matters of Defence, External Affairs and Communications.

President’s order on Article 370
  1. In exercise of the powers conferred by clause (1) of Article 370 of the Constitution, the President, with the concurrence of the Government of State of Jammu and Kashmir, is pleased to make the following Order:
  2. This Order may be called the Constitution Application to Jammu and Kashmir) Order, 2019.
  3. It shall come into force at once, and shall thereupon supersede the Constitution (Application to Jammu and Kashmir) Order, 1954 as amended from time to time.
  4. All the provisions of the Constitution, as amended from time to time, shall apply in relation to the State of Jammu and Kashmir and the exceptions and modifications subject to which they shall so apply shall be as follows: To article 367, there shall be added the following clause, namely:”(4) For the purposes of this Constitution as it applies in relation to the State of Jammu and Kashmir
  5. References to this Constitution or to the provisions thereof shall be construed as references to the Constitution or the provisions thereof as applied in relation to the said State:
  6. References to the person for the time being recognized by the President on the recommendation of the Legislative Assembly of the State as the Sadar-i-Riyasat of Jammu and Kashmir, acting on the advice of the Council of Ministers of the State for the time being in office, shall be construed as references to the Governor of Jammu and Kashmir:
  7. References to the Government of the said State shall be construed as including references to the Governor of Jammu and Kashmir acting on the advice of his Council of Ministers, and
  8. In the proviso to clause (3) of Article 370 of this Constitution, the expression “Constituent Assembly of the State referred to in clause (2)” shall read “Legislative Assembly of the State”.”
What Article 370 means
  1. Under this article, the centre needs the state government's concurrence to apply lawsexcept in defence, foreign affairs, finance and communications.
  2. It means the state's residents live under a separate set of laws, including those related to citizenship, ownership of property, and fundamental rights, as compared to other Indians. As a result of this provision, Indian citizens from other states cannot purchase land or property in Jammu & Kashmir.
  3. Under Article 370, the Centre has no power to declare financial emergency under Article 360 in the state. It can declare an emergency in the state only in case of war or external aggression.
  4. The Article 370 — which comes under Part XXI of the Constitution, which deals with "Temporary, Transitional and Special provisions" — grants J&K a special autonomous status. Constitutional provisions that are applicable to other Indian states are not applicable to J&K.
  5. The provision was drafted in 1947 by Sheikh Abdullah, the then prime minister of J&K appointed by Maharaja Hari Singh and Jawaharlal Nehru. Abdullah had argued that Article 370 should not be placed under temporary provisions; he instead wanted 'iron-clad autonomy' for the state. The centre, however, didn't grant his wish.
What Article 35(A) means
  1. Article 35A allows the state legislature to define the Jammu and Kashmir's permanent residents. The article had been inserted via the Constitution (Application to J&K) Order, 1954. It was issued by the then President Rajendra Prasad under Article 370 on PM Nehru's advice.
  2. The state's Constitution, at the time of its adoption in 1956, defined a permanent resident as someone who was a state subject on May 14, 1954, or who has been a resident for 10 years, and has lawfully acquired immovable property.
  3. What this clause means is that no outsider can now own property in J&K or get a state job.
  4. The article is also known as the Permanent Residents Law. Among other things, it deprives the state's female residents of property rights if/when they marry an 'outsider'. The provision also extends to children born of any such women.
What will happen to J&K now
  1. After Kashmir's special status is gone, people from anywhere in India be able to buy property and permanently settle in the state. This has fuelled fear in the mind of Kashmiris — they think it would lead to the state's demographic transformation from majority Muslim to majority Hindu.
  2. A separate Union Territory will be created for Jammu & Kashmir with legislature, Amit Shah has revealed via a notification. "Keeping in view the prevailing internal security situation, fuelled by cross-border terrorism in the existing state of Jammu & Kashmir, a seperate Union Territory is being created", the notification said.
  3. Under the notificaiton, the Ladakh region is also being given the status of a Union Terrority, without legislature. "The Ladakh division has a large area but is sparsely populated with a very difficult terrain. There has been a long-pending demand of people of Ladakh to give it a Union Territory status to enable them to realise their aspiration".
  4. Following Amit Shah's proposal, President Ram Nath Kovind promulgated Constitution (Application to Jammu and Kashmir) Order, 2019, stating that the provisions of the Indian Constitution will henceforth be applicable to J&K.
  5. The Constitution (Application to Jammu and Kashmir) Order, 2019 comes into force "at once", and shall "supersede the Constitution (Application to Jammu and Kashmir) Order, 1954".

So what does that essentially mean? 
  1. J&K UT geography: The new J&K Union Territory will comprise the territories of current Jammu and Kashmir regions.
  2. Law and order will remain with the Centre, which now also has the power to declare financial emergency under Article 360 in the state
  3. LG replaces Governor: The Governor of current J&K will be the Lt Governor of the J&K and Ladakh UTs.
  4. J&K to function like Puducherry: The provision of Article 239A applicable to Puducherry UT will be applicable to new J&K Union Territory.
  5. Tenure of Assembly: New Assembly will have a term of 5 years.
  6. Strength of Assembly: New Assembly will have 107 MLAs. Out of 107 MLAs, 24 seats will be left vacant of PoK region.
  7. Current Assembly: The outgoing Assembly had 111 members, in which 87 were elected members, 2 were nominated, while 24 seats in PoK were left vacant.
  8. Nominated members: Under the new law, LG can nominate two women representatives in the J&K Assembly if he/she feels there is inadequate female representation.
  9. Rajya Sabha seats: Rajya Sabha to continue to host 4 sitting members from the current J&K
  10. Lok Sabha Seats: Five Lok Sabha seats have been allocated to J&K Union Territory and 1 for Ladakh UT.
  11. LG can reserve his consent: All the bills passed by the Assembly will be sent to LG for his consent. LG can give his assent, withhold it or send the bill for consideration of the President.
  12. Parliament to have primacy: If there is any inconsistency, Law by Parliament will prevail over any law passed by the new Assembly.
  13. Council of minister: CM will have council of ministers consisting not more than 10% of the total members of the Assembly .
  14. J&K state at the 15 position has been deleted from the States List in the First Schedule of the Constitution.
  15. A new entry of J&K UT has been added in the Union Territories list at the 8th position in the First Schedule of the Constitution.
  16. Delimitation: Union government proposes delimitation of J&K Assembly.
  17. Govt proposes to increase number of seats from 107 to 114.
  18. Delimitation would happen on the basis of 2011 census.
  19. High Courts: J&K and Ladakh will continue to have common High Court.
What will change in J&K with revocation of Article 370:-
Separate constitution
  1. Earlier, Jammu and Kashmir was the only state in the country with its separate constitution as per the provisions mentioned in Article 370, a 'temporary provision' that grants special autonomous status to Jammu & Kashmir.
  2. Now, the government's decision to revoke Article 370 will revoke the special provision which grants power to J&K to have its own constitution. With the revocation of Article 370, Jammu and Kashmir will adhere to the Constitution of India, much like the rest of the country.
Right to buy property
  1. Earlier, Article 35A, which is based on Article 370, empowered the J&K legislature to define the state's 'permanent residents' and grant them special rights and privileges.
  2. Now, with the scrapping of Article 370 (and hence Article 35A) people from outside J&K will also be able to to buy property in the state and settle there.
Law and order
  1. Earlier, law and order was under the control of the state government
  2. Now, following the bifurcation of the state into two Union Territories — J&K and Ladakh, the law and order machinery will have to be restructured. 
  3. The government can structure the power-sharing model on the lines of either Delhi or Puducherry, both union territories. In Delhi, law and order is under the control of the Union government, while in Puducherry, law and order is a state subject.
Central laws
  1. Earlier, the central government had to seek approval of the state legislature to draft and enact laws.
  2. Now, central laws will automatically apply to the state.
Separate flag
  1. Earlier, Article 370 granted special permission to J&K to have its own flag along with the national flag.
  2. Now, it will depend upon Parliament to decide if the state can continue having its own flag.

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