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Article 370 Debate: The similarity and difference between Article 370 & 371
In my article ‘Debating Article 370- The complications and importance of J&K Constitution’ published in this website on June 3, 2014, I have advocated abolishment of Article 370 on one hand and recommended to recognize J&K Constitution in Article 371.

I stand on the arguments I have made in that article. However, it’s also a fact that many are not aware of what Article 371 stands for, although everyone knows that Article 370 is a controversial one! The intention of this article is to describe the similarities and difference between Article 370 and 371.

Part-XXI of our constitution deals with ‘Temporary, Transitional and Special Provisions’. This part has article 369 to article 392. Article 379 to article 391 have already been repealed. As the title of the part says it deals with temporary, transitional and special provisions. Thus some transitional and temporary provisions are already repealed and some are to be repealed like we debate for Article 370.

Here it’s to be noted that only Article 370 and Article 371 are state specific. Here article 370 is titled under ‘Temporary Provision with respect to state of Jammu and Kashmir’. On the other hand article 371 is a special provision with respect to state of Maharashtra and Gujarat which further accommodated 371 A to 371-I to give special provision (it’s not temporary rather permanent) to other states. A brief description is given as below.

Article-371: Special provision with respect to Maharashtra and Gujarat:- It mandates creation of separate development boards for areas like Vidarva, Marathwada, Sourastra, Katch etc with equitable fund allocation.

Article-371 A: Special provision with respect to state of Nagaland, which prohibits Parliament to enact any law on religious and social practices of Nagas, Naga customary law and procedure. It also says that Parliament can’t legislate on administration of civil and criminal justice involving decisions on Naga customary law. Also no Parliament act on ownership and transfer of land and it’s resources.

Article-371 B: Special provision to state of Assam which mandates dealing with tribal rights.

Article-371 C: Special provisions to state of Manipur dealing with special rights to Hill area people.

Article-371 D: Dealing with state of Andhra Pradesh with respect to civil service and other employment related issue to particular part /tribe of the state

Article-371 E: It’s again a special provision to Andhra Pradesh for for establishment of central University in the state!

Article-371 F: Special provision to state of Sikkim outlining various measures to obtain social and economical advancement of different section of people of Sikkim along with their identity.

Article 371 G: Special provision with respect to Mizoram. The special provision are like article 371 A with respect to Nagaland. Here too the special provision says that no act of Parliament in respect of religious and social practices of Mizos, Mizo customary law and procedure, administration of civil and criminal justice involving decisions according to Mizo customary laws and ownership and transfer of land.

Article 371 H: Special provision with respect to state of Arunachal Pradesh particularly function of Governor and special law and order arrangement.

Article 371 I: Special provision with respect to the state of Goa citing minimum strength of Goa assembly.

From above it’s clear that states have been provided special provisions starting from administration and development subjects to even prohibiting Parliament to legislate any act on customary and social laws!

Nagaland and Mizoram have their own criminal and social laws as per their tradition and Parliament can’t do anything even if some of them might appear to be different from rest of the India!

Article 370 has become very controversial because of the temporary nature and Pakistan’s claim. Thus my argument is, in order to abolish Article 370 the constitution of J&K can be recognized as a special provision as Article 371. It’s always give and take. If you don’t recognize J&K Constitution which speaks that J&K is an integral part of India, you can’t abolish Article 370, because abolishing Article 370 before recognizing J&K's Constitution will make the constitution redundant.

Accommodating J&K's Constitution in Article 371 is not only agreeable by J&K's people, but with this Pakistan can also be pushed away on legality. In fact India can legally claim the POK!



Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of merinews.com. In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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