J&K Constitution: Permanent Residents

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J&K Constitution that was adopted by the J&K Constituent Assembly on November 17, 1956 is an elaborate document that has Part III devoted to the definition of the Permanent Residents of the state. The assembly members of which were hand-picked by Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah in 1951

The National Conference took over the emergency governance of the state of J&K soon after Maharaja Hari Singh fled Kashmir in late 1947, passed a resolution on October 27, 1950 recommending setting up of a constituent assembly. Karan Singh, the heir apparent, then the head of the state, issued a proclamation on May 1, 1951 for its formation. After delimitation of constituencies was over, elections were held between August and September 1951. The assembly had 100 berths, of which 25 were reserved for the areas making Pakistan Administered Kashmir (PaK). Of the 75 seats, NC won 73 unopposed. Sheikh addressed the assembly for the first time on October 31, 1951.

As the assembly was midway framing the constitution for the state, Sheikh was dismissed as Prime Minister of J&K and imprisoned on August 8, 1953. Six months later, on February 15, 1954 members of the house unanimously ratified J&K’s accession to India. But the assembly completed its job of drafting the constitution that came into force on January 26, 1957.

The constitution of the state has devoted, Part III to the definition of the permanent residents making the state subjects. Here follows this section:
PERMANENT RESIDENTS

(6) (l) Every person who is, or is deemed to be, a citizen of India under the provisions of the Constitution of India shall be a permanent resident of the State, if on the fourteenth day of May, 1954.

(a) he was a State subject of class I or of class II: or

(b) having lawfully acquired immovable property in the State, he has been ordinarily resident in the State for not less than ten years prior to that date.

(2) Any person who, before the fourteenth day of May, 1954 was a State subject of Class I or of Class II and who, having migrated after the first day of March, 1947, to the territory -now included in Pakistan, returns to the State under a permit for resettlement in the State or for permanent return issued by or under the authority of any law made by the State Legislature shall on such return be a permanent resident of the State.

(3) In this section, the expression “State subject of Class I or of Class II” shall have the same – meaning as the State Notification No I-L/84 dated the twentieth April. ‘1927, read with State Notification No 13/L dated the twenty- seventh June, 1932.

7. Unless the context otherwise requires, all references in any existing law to hereditary State subject or to State subject of class I or of Class II or of class III shall be construed as references to permanent residents of the State.

8. Nothing in foregoing provisions of this part shall derogate from the power of the State legislature to make any law defining the classes the persons who are, or shall be permanent residents of the State.

9. A Bill marking provision for any of the following matters, namely.

(a) defining or altering the definition of, the classes of persons who are, or shall be, permanent residents of the State;

(b) conferring on permanent residents any special rights or privileges;

(c) regulating or modifying any special rights or privileges enjoyed by permanent residents;

shall be deemed to be passed by either House of the Legislature only if It is passed by a majority of not less than two-thirds of the total membership of that House.

10. The permanent residents of the State shall have all the rights guaranteed to them under the Constitution of India.

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