ARTICLE 370 (Syllabus: GS Paper 2 – Polity)

News-CRUX-10     8th March 2024        
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Context: Recently, the Supreme Court nullified an FIR in Maharashtra against a college professor who referred to the abrogation of Article 370 as a "black day" and extended "happy independence" wishes to Pakistan on a WhatsApp group comprising faculty and parents.

Article 370 and its Removal

  • Background: The Constituent Assembly of Jammu & Kashmir (through Article 370) was empowered to recommend which articles of the Indian Constitution should apply to the state.

oClause 3 of the article 370 gives the President of India the power to amend its provisions and scope.

  • Removal of Article 370: Amendments were made to make applicable the entirety of India’s Constitution to Jammu and Kashmir (J&K).

oIt was done when the State was under President’s Rule with no elected Legislative Assembly in place.

oIn 2019, the Constitution (Application to Jammu and Kashmir) Order 2019, issued by the President, withdrew the special status of J&K and extended all provisions of the Indian Constitution to J&K.

  • The J&K (Reorganisation) Act 2019 bifurcated J&K into two UTs - J&K was an UT with a Legislative Assembly; Ladakh was without an Assembly.

Section 153A

  • Historical Perspective: The provision, penalizing the promotion of enmity between different groups based on various grounds, was introduced in 1898 and was not part of the original Indian Penal Code.
  • Evolution of the Law: During the amendment, the concept of promoting class hatred, originally part of English law of sedition, was incorporated into Section 153A, addressing issues of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, etc.
  • Rangila Rasool Case: The Punjab High Court's acquittal in the Rangila Rasool case, where a Hindu publisher faced charges under Section 153A for disparaging remarks about the Prophet, highlights the early application of this legal provision.