On 25th August 2019, the Ministry of Home Affairs announced for the revocation of Article 370 of Indian Constitution which gave the State of Jammu and Kashmir a special status than all other states of Indian Territory. The article specifically talks about providing the special status to the then ‘Princely state of Jammu and Kashmir’.
An Instrument of Accession was signed by the then Maharaja of Jammu and Kashmir, Maharaja Hari Singh when after getting Independence from British Raj, it was given option to the states to choose to be with Indian Constituency or be with Pakistan Constituency or to be independent. The State chose to be within the limit of Indian territory but with certain conditions which were mentioned in the accession.
The accession expressly included that except the three subjects, namely the Foreign affairs, Defence and Communication, which shall be dealt by the Indian government, all other subjects, for example Education, Employment, Ownership rights, Fundamental Rights, etc. would be specifically dealt by the state assembly only. This clause was drafted by Sheikh Abdullah in 1949, who was appointed as the PM of the state by Maharaja in 1948.
The accession also included a clause, specifically clause 5, which provided that the terms of accession cannot be altered by any special provision or Indian Independence Act unless such change has been accepted by the Raja by signing a supplementary instrument.
This article got emerged from Article 370 which gave special status to the resident of the state who were living in the state as of May 14, 1954 or have been living for more than 10 years on that date with a legally acquired property. Such subjects of the state were given the title as Permanent Resident of the state. Other non-permanent resident won’t be able to buy any immovable property, get government jobs or other aid which were provided by the state government.
The article can only be abrogated by the President’s Consent which was provided in a notification by Shri Ram Nath Kovind on 25th August 2019 which expressly provided that proviso to clause (3) of Article 370 of this Constitution, the expression ‘Constituent Assembly of the State’ in clause (2) shall be read as ‘Legislative Assembly of the state’. Thus, the special status given to the state of Jammu and Kashmir was abrogated and the state was further divided into two Union territories, namely Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir and Union Territory of Ladakh. PM Modi in a rally in Maharashtra on 13th October 2019 announced that the situation in Kashmir would return to normal within 4 months. The issues with internet connectivity and other related services are still there and would take time to be normal.
The main purpose to abrogate this article was to uplift the standard of living of the people of the state and also to develop the state as according to the current government, its development was hindered by this article and abolishing it could only provide a gateway to the development of the state and people