Article 370, 35A essential covenants between India and J&K: JKPM

JKPM Vice President Political Affairs and Supreme Court Advocate Syed Iqbal Tahir has reiterated that Article 370 of the Constitution is a covenant between Union of India and the state of J&K which cannot be abrogated, repealed or even amended.

Reacting to the statement of Union Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment Thaawarchand Gehlot, Iqbal Tahir said that Article 370 and 35A are untouchable because the mechanism provided under Clause (3) Article 370 is no more available and also because the Constituent Assembly is presumed to have taken informed decision, not to recommend modification or change in the Article and to allow it to remain in the same form even after Constitution of the state came into force on January 26, 1957.

In this regard Iqbal Tahir referred to the 2015 judgment of High Court of J&K where by the court held that “Article 370 of the Constitution embodies conceptual framework of relationship between Union of India and state and lays down broad features of special status granted to the state. “Jammu and Kashmir acceded to India under very unique circumstances and the State of Jammu and Kashmir while acceding to dominion of India, retained limited sovereignty and did not merge with dominion of India, like other Princely States that signed Instrument of Accession with Dominion of India.

Iqbal Tahir said that since the Constituent Assembly of J&K — which was dissolved in January 1957 — did not recommend that Article 370 would cease to be operative, the Article “is a permanent provision of the Constitution”.

While reiterating the party’s stand, Iqbal Tahir stated that the existing constitutional provisions with respect to the special status of J&K State under the Constitution of India, primarily the Article 370 and the Article 35A, have to be upheld and protected for sustaining the space for peaceful dialogue and resolution.