Article 370 was meant to be ‘temporary’ provision in Constitution, says Amit Shah

Inaugurated a training program on Legislative Drafting organized by PRIDE and ICPS for officers of Parliament, State Legislatures and various ministries in New Delhi
Indian Union Home Minister Amit Shah
Indian Union Home Minister Amit ShahSpecial arrangement

New Delhi, May 15: Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Monday said that the Article 370, which gave special status to Jammu and Kashmir, was meant to be a “temporary” provision since the beginning and the framers of the Constitution had put it there “intelligently”.

Referring to Article 370, which the BJP government at the Centre repealed in 2019, the home minister said the whole country wanted that the provision of the Constitution should not be in existence, reported news agency PTI.

He also highlighted that when the Article was framed, it was mentioned in the index as “Temporary Provision of Article 370”. Even debates on the Article were missing from the records of constituent assembly debates, Shah said and added that they were not printed.

Shah said it could well be imagined that whoever had drafted it and those who were part of the constituent assembly, how intelligently they put it and how after lots of thought the “temporary” word was inserted.

“An article of the Constitution cannot be temporary, it can be amended. If you read it even today — the old Constitution, it is clearly written as Temporary Provision of Article 370,” he said.

“Article 370 is no longer in existence. It has been repealed now. But please read it. It was mentioned in the index as ‘Temporary Provision of Article 370’. If this ‘temporary’ word was not written, what would have happened. Tell me, can a provision of the Constitution be ‘temporary’,” he asked.

The Article was scrapped on August 5, 2019, a few months after Shah took charge as the country’s home minister, and the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir was bifurcated into union territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh.

Shah said this while inaugurating a training programme on Legislative Drafting organized by PRIDE and ICPS for officers of Parliament, State Legislatures, various ministries, statutory bodies and other government departments in New Delhi, today. Several dignitaries including Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla, Union Minister Pralhad Joshi, Arjun Ram Meghwal, and Union Home Secretary were present on the occasion.

In his address, Shah said that legislative drafting is a crucial component of our democracy and lack of knowledge about it not only weakens the laws, but the entire democratic system and it also affects the functioning of the judiciary. He said that it is very important for any democratic country that its legislative drafting skills keep upgrading and becoming more efficient with time.

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