Article 35A confers upon the state government the power to define its ‘permanent citizens.’ It provides the residents of J&K with some special rights. The special status came through a Presidential order back in 1954. Some of the special rights include the acquisition of property in the state, public aid & welfare and scholarships.
- A person who is not a permanent resident of J&K cannot own property in the state.
- Any person who is not a permanent resident of J&K cannot obtain in Jammu and Kashmir government.
- No person who is not a permanent resident of J&K can join any professional college run by state government. Also, the concerned person will not be eligible for any government aid out of government funds.
Introduction into the Constitution
On 14 May 1954, Rajendra Prasad, the then President of India, under Article 370(1)(d) issued (Application to Jammu & Kashmir) Order, 1954. Article 35A was thus added to the Constitution through a Presidential order. The order followed the 1952 Delhi Agreement. This agreement was entered into between Pt. Jawahar Lal Nehru and the then PM of J&K Sheikh Abdullah. It extended the Indian citizenship to the state subjects of Jammu and Kashmir.
Since then, Article 35A remains a part of Article 370 of the Constitution of India. It makes sure that no citizen of India from outside the state of J&K acquires any immovable property in the state. Also, if a female resident of the state marries an outsider, she no longer remains the citizen of Jammu and Kashmir.
Who is the Permanent Resident of J&K?
J&K got its Constitution on 17 November 1956. It defined a permanent resident as a person who was a citizen of the state on 14 May 1954 or who has been living in the state for 10 years and has lawfully acquired some immovable property in the state. However, the state legislature has the power to change the definition through a law which needs a two-thirds majority in the house.
Some Key Provisions Under the Constitution of Jammu and Kashmir
Section 51- Qualifications from Legislature Membership- No person who is not a permanent resident of J&K shall be eligible for a seat in the state legislature.
Section 127- Until other Provisional is made in this behalf under the constitution, all the laws in force immediately before the commencement of this Constitution and applicable to any public service or any post which continues to exist after the commencement of this Constitution as service or post under the- State, shall continue in force so far as consistent with the provisions of this Constitution.
Since it was not passed by the parliament, questions were raised at the legality of the article. It is Article 368 that empowers only parliament to make changes to the constitution. The fact that the government did not place it before parliament for discussion makes it a matter of debate for eternity.