Delhi-JK Relation Hinges On Art 370: Legal experts

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Abrogation of Article 370 will infringe instrument of accession: Justice (retd) Bashir Khan 

SRINAGAR: Reacting to the recent statement by the BJP’s Prime Ministerial candidate,  Narendra Modi, seeking debate on Article 370, legal experts across Jammu and Kashmir Tuesday said that if the Article 370 was scrapped, the relation between Delhi and Srinagar will cease to exist.

Talking to KNS, legal experts of the state mentioned that if Article 370 is abrogated, it would infringe on the instrument of accession and render it vulnerable to all types of vagaries, both political and legal.

Former High Court Chief Justice BA Khan while talking to KNS mentioned that the abrogation of Article 370 will weaken the instrument of accession and will infringe the same. “Any such action in this matter (Abrogation of 370) seems impracticable. The action was to be approved by the constituent assembly of the state which was no more in existence.”

The constitutional expert Rajeev Dhavan stated that the Article 370 cannot be abrogated and if the same is done, it will put the accession in jeopardy.”The accession of Jammu and Kashmir to the union of India is permanent.”  

Professor Sheikh Showkat Hussain  who teaches international law at  Central University of Kashmir stated that Article 370 is the corridor through which various constituent provisions of India have been extended to Jammu and Kashmir and if the corridor is closed, whatever pass  through the corridor will come to an end.

He further mentioned: “For amending Article 370, there is a need of the creation of Constituent assembly and once the constituent assembly is created, then everything that is provided within the constitution can be scrapped.”

The legal experts further maintained that the state of Jammu and Kashmir acceded to the union of India by virtue of the instrument of accession, executed by the then Maharaj Hari Singh and accepted  by the Lord Mountbatten on October 27 1947.    Maharaja conceded the power of Indian Government, exercisable for Jammu and Kashmir only in respect of matters specified in the schedule appended to the instrument which included Defence, Foreign affairs and communication, they said.

Furthermore, clause 7 of the instrument of accession mentioned that the Hari Singh gave away limited powers to the Indian Union while retaining the residuary powers. The legal experts observed that in this background, it would be logical to say that if Article 370 is scrapped, it would infringe on the instrument of the accession. 

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