Article 35A of the constitution empowers J&K legislature to define “permanent resident” and their special rights and privileges. It was added to the Constitution through a situationary Presidential Order issued by the President of India on 14 May 1954, exercising the powers conferred by the clause (1) of the Article 370 of the Indian Constitution, and with the concurrence of the Government of the State of Jammu and Kashmir.
Article 35A constitution of India defines permanent residents of the state of J&K and denies following rights to non-residents:
- Right to get Government job
- Right to buy immovable property
- Right to vote in the assembly election of J&K
- Right to receive government scholarships for education
Text of the Article:
“Saving of laws with respect to permanent residents and their rights.” — Not withstanding anything contained in this Constitution, no existing law in force in the State of Jammu and Kashmir, and no law hereafter enacted by the Legislature of the State: (a) defining the classes of persons who are, or shall be, permanent residents of the State of Jammu and Kashmir; or (b) conferring on such permanent residents any special rights and privileges or imposing upon other persons any restrictions as respects—
- (i) employment under the State Government;
- (ii) acquisition of immovable property in the State;
- (iii) settlement in the State; or
- (iv) right to scholarships and such other forms of aid as the State Government may provide,
shall be void on the ground that it is inconsistent with or takes away or abridges any rights conferred on the other citizens of India by any provision of this part.”
- J&K joined India through instrument of accession signed by its ruler Hari Singh in October 1947.
- Popular leader Sheikh Abdullah took over reins from Dogra ruler. In 1949, he negotiated J&K’s political relationship with New Delhi, which led to the inclusion of Article 370 in the Constitution.
- Article 370 guarantees special status to J&K,restricting Union’s legislative powers over three areas: defence, foreign affairs and communications.
- Under the 1952 Delhi Agreement between Abdullah and Nehru, several provisions of the Constitution were extended to J&K via presidential order in 1954. Article 35A was added then.
- Constitution of Jammu & Kashmir came into effect on 1957.
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