Article 370 of the Indian constitution gave special standing to the region of Jammu and Cashmere, permitting it to possess a separate constitution, a state flag, and autonomy over the internal administration of the state. India revoked this special status in August 2019.
The article was written partly XXI of the Constitution: Temporary, Transitional and Special Provisions. The Constituent Assembly of Jammu and Cashmere, after its establishment, was empowered to recommend the articles of the Indian constitution that should be applied to the state or to abrogate the Article 370 altogether. After consultation with the state’s Constituent Assembly, the 1954 Presidential Order was issued, specifying the articles of the Indian constitution that applied to the state. Since the Constituent Assembly dissolved itself while not recommending the annulment of Article 370, the article was deemed to have become a permanent feature of the Indian Constitution.
This article, along with Article 35A, defined that the Jammu and Kashmir state’s residents live under a separate set of laws, including those related to citizenship, ownership of property, and fundamental rights, as compared to a resident of other Indian states. As a result of this provision, Indian citizens from other states could not purchase land or property in Jammu & Kashmir.
On five August 2019, President Ram Nath Kovind issued a constitutional order revoking the 1954 order, and making all the provisions of the Indian constitution applicable to Jammu and Kashmir. Following resolutions passed in both the Houses of Parliament, he issued a further order on 6 August declaring all the clauses of Article 370 to be inoperative.
In addition, the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Bill was passed in both the Houses of Parliament, which proposes to divide the state of Jammu and Kashmir into two union territories to be called Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh.
The state of Jammu & Kashmir’s original accession, like all other princely states, was on three matters: defense, foreign affairs, and communications. All the princely states were invited to send representatives to India’s Constituent Assembly, which was formulating a constitution for the entire of the Republic of India. They were additionally inspired to line up constituent assemblies for his or her own states. Most states were unable to line up assemblies in time, but a few states did, in particular, Saurashtra Union, Travancore-Cochin and Mysore. Even though the States Department developed a model constitution for the states, in could 1949, the rulers and chief ministers of all the states met and agreed that separate constitutions for the states were not necessary. They accepted the Constitution of the Republic of India as their own constitution. The states that did elect constituent assemblies instructed some amendments that were accepted. The position of all the states (or unions of states) thus became equivalent to that of regular Indian provinces. In specific, this meant that the topics out there for legislation by the central and state governments were uniform across the Republic of India.
In the case of Jammu and Cashmere, the representatives to the Constituent Assembly requested that only those provisions of the Indian Constitution that corresponded to the original Instrument of Accession should be applied to the State. Accordingly, the Article 370 was incorporated into the Indian Constitution, which stipulated that the other articles of the Constitution that gave powers to the Central Government would be applied to Jammu and Cashmere solely with the concurrence of the State’s constituent assembly. This was a “temporary provision” therein its relevance was meant to last until the formulation and adoption of the State’s constitution. However, the State’s constituent assembly dissolved itself on 25 Jan 1957 while not recommending either annulment or modification of Article 370. Thus the Article has become a permanent feature of the Indian constitution, as confirmed by various rulings of the Supreme Court of India and the High Court of Jammu and Cashmere, the newest of that was in Gregorian calendar month 2018.