In a move that will have massive repercussions for Kashmir, the Centre has decided to repeal Article 370 and Article 35-A of the Constitution that grants special status to the state. Announcing the move, home minister Amit Shah also decided to bifurcate the state into two Union territories – Jammu and Kashmir, which will have a legislature, and Ladakh, which will be without a legislature.
Shah moved the amendment amid uproar by opposition members.
Making a historic announcement in the Rajya Sabha that triggered bedlam, Shah said: “I am presenting the resolution to revoke Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir except the first clause 370 (1).
This comes at a time when the prevailing situation in Jammu and Kashmir continues to be on the edge.
Following his speech amid bedlam, the House was adjourned for a brief period.
The Union Territory of Ladakh was a long pending demand of the people of the region and the decision was aimed at fulfilling the aspiration of the local population, the Minister said.
Two members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Nazeer Ahmed Laway and Mir Mohammad Fayaz, were shunted out of the Rajya Sabha after they removed copies of the Constitution.
PDP leader Mehbooba Mufti described the decision to scrap Article 370 as “the darkest day in Indian democracy”.
The surprise announcement came after a cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the 7 Lok Kalyan Marg, where the PM, Home Minister Amit Shah and National Security Advisor Ajit Doval met at the PM’s residence.
This meeting was preceded by another meeting that started an hour earlier in which Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad was also present.
These key meetings were held after mobile internet services were suspended in Jammu, in view of the prevailing security situation in the region.
In Jammu, the government has imposed Section 144, which prevents the gathering of more than four people in the area.
Kashmir has been on the edge in the wake of a massive security build-up. Leaders of all major political parties in the state met here on Sunday and urged India and Pakistan not to take any step which may disturb the peace and escalate tensions between the two countries.
MINISTRY OF LAW AND JUSTICE
New Delhi, the 5th August, 2019
G.S.R .551(E).— the following Order made by the President is published for general information:-
THE CONSTITUTION (APPLICATION TO JAMMU AND KASHMIR) ORDER, 2019
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:—
1. (1) This Order may be called the Constitution (Application to Jammu and Kashmir) Order, 2019.
(2) 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.
2. 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—
(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”.”
RAM NATH KOVIND, President.