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Sunday, April 14, 2024

Major Legal Milestones for Jammu & Kashmir State

On 6 August 2019 – with the approval of the Indian parliament, the government of India, declared all the clauses of Article 370 except clause 1 to be inoperative. Thus unilaterally stripping Jammu and Kashmir State, a disputed territory, of its special status that gave it significant autonomy.

1846 – Independent princely State of Jammu and Kashmir is created under the Treaty of Amritsar between the British East India Company and Jammu’s Raja Gulab Singh, the founder of royal Dogra dynasty.

1927 – Hereditary State Subject Order – granted to state subjects the right to a government office and the right to land use and ownership, which were not available to non-state subjects. Adopted by the Maharaja after the Kashmiri Pandit community launched a “Kashmir for the Kashmiris” movement.

14-15 August 1947 – British rule came to an end in British India.

15 August 1947 – Maharaja Hari Singh enters into a standstill agreement with Pakistan.

26 October 1947Maharaja of Kashmir allegedly signs the instrument of accession to India. He relinquishes his control over the State’s defence, communication and foreign affairs to India.

1 January 1948 – India takes Pakistan over Kashmir to the United Nations Security Council. UN orders both the sides to exercise restraint and resolves that the future of Kashmir should be decided by a plebiscite.

1 January 1949 – UN agreed ceasefire reline is drawn. The ceasefire reline was later referred to the Line of Control after the 1972 Simla agreement between India and Pakistan.

May 1949 – Maharaja Hari Singh asked by Sardar Patel to take a “temporary leave” from the State and nominate his son Karan Singh as Prince regent.

26 January 1950 – Indian Constitution came into effect. 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 Kashmir only with the concurrence of the State’s constituent Assembly.

1 May 1951 – Karan Singh, head of State of Jammu and Kashmir issued a proclamation directing the formation of J&K constituent Assembly.

July 1952 – Delhi Agreement – Article 370 amended which allowed Kashmir to have a separate constitution, keep its own flag along with Indian flag, President of India would be head of State, Kashmir would have PM and Sadar-i-Riyasat. It abolished the Dogra monarchy rule in Jammu & Kashmir.

8 August 1953 – Sheikh Abdullah dismissed as PM and put into jail where he spends close to 11 years, ostensibly for calling for Kashmir’s independence and his relations with Pakistan.

15 February 1954 – J&K Constituent Assembly ratifies the State’s accession to India which was needed to legitimize the instrument of accession, Sheikh Abdullah had not assented to this.

14 May 1954Article 35-A added to Indian Constitution. The article empowered the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly to define “permanent residents” of the State and provide special rights and privileges to those permanent residents including the right to purchase land, to vote and contest elections, seeking government employment and avail other state benefits. Non-permanent residents of the State were not entitled to these ‘privileges’.

17 November 1956 – The Constituent Assembly adopted and ratified Mir Qasim resolution to dissolve itself.

26 January 1957 – the Constituent Assembly of Jammu and Kashmir ceased to exist. Constituent Assembly dissolved itself without recommending the abrogation of Article 370. Thus the article became a permanent feature of the Indian Constitution. The permanency of the article was confirmed by various rulings of the Supreme Court of India and the High Court of Jammu and Kashmir, the latest of which was in April 2018.

26 January 1957 – Constitution came into force. Part II, section (3) of the constitution states’ The State of Jammu and Kashmir is and shall be an integral part of the Union of India.’

May 1965: under the Sixth Constitution of J&K Amendment Act, 1965 – the titles of prime minister and Sadar-i-Riyasat were officially changed to chief minister and governor, respectively.

24 February 1975 – Sheikh Abdullah and Indira Gandhi accord –Sheikh Abdullah dropped his demand for the restoration of the pre-1953 relationship between Kashmir and India, and his demand for a plebiscite – that the people of Kashmir be given the right to self-determination. Indira Gandhi made it clear that “the clock could not be put back in this manner.” The accord allowed Sheikh Abdullah to become Chief Minister after 22 years, many of which had been spent in prison for his previous stance on self-determination for Kashmiris.

5 August 2019 – the President of India Ram Nath Kovind issued a Presidential Order, superseding the 1954 order, whereby all the provisions of the Indian Constitution were now to apply to J&K state without any special provisions. The State’s separate Constitution is no longer valid, including the privileges sanctioned by the Article 35A.

6 August 2019 – With the approval of the Indian parliament, the government of India, declared all the clauses of Article 370 except clause 1 to be inoperative. Thus unilaterally stripping Jammu and Kashmir State, a disputed territory, of its special status that gave it significant autonomy.

9 August 2019 – The Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, 2019 was passed by the Indian parliament, enacting the division of the State of Jammu and Kashmir into two union territories to be called Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir and Union Territory of Ladakh.

31 October 2019 – Jammu and Kashmir, officially under the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, 2019, get stripped of its statehood status and became two union territories of India.