Topic– Indian Constitution- historical underpinnings, evolution, features, amendments, significant provisions and basic structure.
2) Article 35A is at the heart of Indian federation and any attempt to hold it otherwise will have negative consequences. Comment.(250 words)
Why this question
The SC is presently hearing a PIL challenging the constitutional validity of article 35A. It is a keystone article which forms the basis of the relationship between the erstwhile princely state of J&K and India. It is essential to know how a positive judgement in favour of the PIL can impact the relationship in a negative way.
Comment- here we have to express our knowledge and understanding of the issue and form an overall opinion thereupon.
Key demand of the question.
The question wants us to dig deep into the issue and form an opinion as to whether Article 35A is at the heart of Indian federation and any attempt to hold it otherwise will have negative consequences, or not. You have to present relevant facts/ arguments and then based on your discussion we have to form an opinion on the issue.
Structure of the answer
Introduction– write a few lines about the history of article 35A and its association with article 370.
Article 35A was inserted into the Constitution as part of amendments made through a 1954 presidential order, imposed under Article 370.
- Describe the article in detail. E.g Broadly, it empowers Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) to not only define a class of persons as constituting “permanent residents” of the State but also allows the government to confer on these persons special rights and privileges with respect to matters of public employment, acquisition of immovable property in the State, settlement in different parts of the State, and access to scholarships or other such aids that the State government might provide. The Article further exempts such legislation from being annulled on the ground that they infringe one or the other of the fundamental rights guaranteed by the Constitution etc.
- Discuss the facts/ arguments in support of your opinion on the issue (You are free to take the stand in favour of or against the statement but you have to properly justify yourself). E.g . The law on the subject is well settled. Previous Benches have already put their imprimatur on the 1954 presidential order; India’s Constitution, as the political scientist Louise Tillin has explained, establishes a form of asymmetric federalism, in which some States enjoy greater autonomy over governance than others. This asymmetry is typified by Article 370; with the disbanding of J&K’s Constituent Assembly in 1956, the question of suspending Article 370 was rendered moot; Article 370 is as much a part of the Constitution as Article 368. That the framers were deeply cognisant of the fact that the Constitution accorded J&K exceptional status is free of any doubt; “Kashmir’s conditions are… special and require special treatment,” ; any dilution of the provisions will have a further alienating effect on Kashmir and may fuel more violence, insurgency, economic breakdown and loss of democracy in the valley etc.
Conclusion- sum up your discussion in a few lines and form a fair and a balanced conclusion on the above issue.