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Article 35A of the Constitution of India: An Introduction

Indian government has scrapped Article 35A along with Article 370 of the Indian Constitution that grants special autonomous status to Jammu and Kashmir. As law students, it is important that you know what exactly is Article 35A.

What is Article 35A?

Article 35A of the Indian Constitution was an article that empowered the Jammu and Kashmir state’s legislature to define “permanent residents” of the state and provide special rights and privileges to those permanent residents.

History of Article 35A

Article 35A was added to the Constitution through a Presidential Order, i.e., The Constitution (Application to Jammu and Kashmir) Order, 1954 – 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.

Provisions of Article 35A

This article along with Article 370 defined that the J&K state’s residents live under a separate set of laws, including those related to citizenship, ownership of property, and fundamental rights, as compared to resident of other Indian states. As a result of this provision, Indian citizens from other states cannot purchase land or property in Jammu & Kashmir.

The article, referred to as the Permanent Residents Law, also bars female residents of Jammu and Kashmir from property rights in the event that they marry a person from outside the state. The provision also extends to such women’s children.

While Article 35A has remained unchanged, some aspects of Article 370 have been diluted over the decades. Critics of Article 35A say the provision did not have parliamentary sanction, and that it discriminates against women.

Current status of Article 35A

This article has been repealed on August 5, 2019 along with Article 370.

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