At the time of independence in August 15th 1947, the State of Jammu and Kashmir decided not to join either India or Pakistan. However, soon Pakistan attempted to annex the State military. Meanwhile, the Maharaja signed the “Instrument of accession” with India along with certain concessions for the autonomy of the State. article 370 in Part XXI of the Indian Constitution grants a special status to Jammu and Kashmir.
The important features of the special status are as follows:
- Jammu and Kashmir State has its own Constitution. this also implies that ‘dual citizenship’ principle is followed in this state.
- Contrary to the case with the other states, the residuary power lies with the legislature of the Jammu and Kashmir (and not the Parliament).
- The National emergency proclaimed only on the ground of war or external aggression shall have automatic extension to the State of Jammu and Kashmir. This means that National Emergency proclaimed on the ground of armed rebellion shall not have automatic extension to Jammu and Kashmir.
- The Governor of the State is to be appointed only after consultation with the Chief minister of that State.
- The Parliament is not empowered to make laws on the subjects of State of Jammu and Kashmir under any circumstance.
- Financial Emergency (Article 360) cannot be imposed on the State.
- apart from the President’s rule, Governors rule can also be imposed on the State for a maximum period of six months.
- The Preventive detention laws (article 22) of Parliament do not have automatic extension to the State.
- The name, boundary or territory of the State cannot be changed by the Parliament without the concurrence of the State Legislature.
- Article 19 (1) (f) and 31 (2) have not been abolished for this State and hence to properly still stands guaranteed to the people of Jammu and Kashmir.
- Part IV (dealing with DPSP) and Part IV A (dealing with Fundamental duties) are not applicable to the State.
- The president has has no power to suspend the Constitution of the State on the ground of failure to comply with the directions given by him.
- International treaty or agreement affecting the deposition of any part of the territory of the state can be made by the centre only with the consent of the state Legislature.
- An amendment made to the Constitution of India does not apply to the State unless it is extended by a Presidential order.
- The Fifth Schedule and the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution of India do not apply to the State.
- The High Court of Jammu and Kashmir can issue writs only for the enforcement of Fundamental Rights and not for any other purpose.