Amit Shah in Rajya Sabha on Monday (Photo: RSTV))
Amit Shah in Rajya Sabha on Monday (Photo: RSTV))

Article 370 scrapped, Jammu and Kashmir will now be Union Territory

ANI | Updated: Aug 05, 2019 12:29 IST

New Delhi [India], Aug 5 (ANI): In decisions with far-reaching implications, the BJP-led Centre on Monday scrapped Article 370 of the Constitution that gives special status to Jammu and Kashmir and converted the border state into a Union Territory with a legislature, implementing the long-held agenda of the party and its predecessor, Jan Sangh.
The state was also split by hiving off Ladakh region from the state and making it into a Union Territory without a legislature.
The series of decisions were tabled in Rajya Sabha amidst huge uproar from the opposition which stoutly resisted them. An angry PDP lawmaker Mir Mohammad Fayaz tore a copy of the Constitution, inviting a warning from Chairman M. Venkaiah Naidu who said he would be named.
Unfazed by the opposition, Home Minister Amit Shah tabled resolutions scrapping Article 370 under which the state had separate laws and provisions that barred people from rest of India from buying land and settling down in the state.
Moving the resolution, Shah said, "There should not be a delay of even a second to removing Article 370 from the Constitution."
The resolution said the President, on the recommendation of the Parliament, is pleased to declare that, as from August 5, 2019, all clauses of the said article 370 shall cease to be operative except clause (1).
Shah also moved the Jammu and Kashmir (Reorganisation) Bill, that converted the state into a Union Territory with legislature, and hived off Ladakh region into another Union Territory without legislature.
The statement of objects and reasons of the Bill says that the demand for creation of Union Territory of Ladakh has been a long-pending demand of people of Ladakh.
"Further, keeping in view the prevailing internal security situation, fuelled by cross border terrorism in the existing State of Jammu and Kashmir, a separate Union Territory for Jammu and Kashmir is being created. The Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir will be with legislature," it read.
The decisions mark a new milestone in the country's politics with the BJP-led government breaking new grounds on issues that have been virtually untouched in last more than 70 years. The BJP had kept these issues on the back-burner when it first came to power in 1998 and then in 1999, citing lack of majority. Even the Modi-I government did nothing to disturb the constitutional structure in Jammu and Kashmir despite having a majority.
Shortly after the Home Minister tabled these documents, President Ram Nath Kovind came out with a notification -- The Constitution (Application to Jammu and Kashmir) Order, 2019 that will come into force immediately.
The order will supersede the Constitution (Application to Jammu and Kashmir) Order, 1954 as amended from time to time.
The notification also made clear that 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.
It also added a clause (4) to Article 367 which said,"(4) For the purposes of this Constitution as it applies in relation to the State of Jammu and Kashmir -
(a) 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;
(b) 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;
(c) 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
(d) in 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"."
Amit Shah also moved a bill providing 10 per cent quota for economically weaker sections in Jammu and Kashmir. (ANI)