No proposal to extend Art 371 to J&K: Govt

KT NEWS SERVICE. Dated: 12/16/2019 4:02:35 PM

JAMMU, Dec 15: J&K government Sunday stated that there was no proposal to extend Article 371 to the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir.
A spokesman of Jammu and Kashmir government said, “Media reports circulating in this regard are baseless and without any substance.” “The same has also been refuted by Ministry of Home Affairs as well,” the spokesman added.
He clarified that there is no proposal under consideration regarding extension of Article 371 to the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir.
On Saturday, the Union Home Ministry had also denied media reports claiming that the Centre had moved a proposal to implement Article 371 in Jammu & Kashmir are incorrect.
Reacting on certain TV as well as newspaper reports, Ministry of Home Affairs had said, “Certain media reports stating that Ministry of Home Affairs has moved a proposal to implement Article 371 in Jammu & Kashmir are incorrect and baseless.”
In the meanwhile in Hyderabad, the Union Minister of State in PMO Dr Jitendra Singh too stated that the central government “does not intend to extend Article 371 of the Constitution to Jammu and Kashmir.”
“There is no question of Article 371 going to be implemented in Jammu and Kashmir,” Singh said. “There is nothing of that sort being contemplated at any level by the Government of India and this disinformation is being planted by those whose illegitimate interests have been adversely affected by the abrogation of Article 370,” he said. Article 371, which has special provisions and is applicable in some states especially in the Northeast, safeguards the rights of native people with regard to religious or social practices, customary laws and procedures, ownership and transfer of land and resources, and employment and education.
Addressing an event at the Indian School of Business (ISB) in Hyderabad, the Minister of State said Central laws are automatically applicable to the two newly created Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh and the necessary notifications whenever required are being issued one after the other.
Reiterating that Article 370 is "gone forever as a whole", he said there is a basic difference between the essence and spirit of Article 370 which has been revoked from Jammu and Kashmir and Article 371 which is applicable in certain areas of the Northeast.
Under Article 370 of the Constitution, the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir was given special status till its abrogation on August 5.
“Certain fringe elements are trying to create confusion for vested interests by planting disinformation in the media that certain laws or acts will not be applicable in Jammu and Kashmir or applicable there only in truncated form. The elements spreading such disinformation are tactically supported by the Congress and the National Conference which have been the beneficiaries of Article 370,” he said.
Singh said the vested interests will have to "swallow a bitter pill" whether they like it or not. However, the minister said it is the duty of "all patriotic, nationalistic and right-thinking citizens" to cooperate in smooth implementation of the same laws and rules which are applicable in the rest of India.
He said that while in case of states, there may be some leverage for the respective state governments, in the case of a Union Territory the Centre's laws are applicable.
Giving an example, he said that while law and order and police are state subjects in the case of states, in case of a Union Territory these fall in the domain of Union Home Ministry.
Last week, a few media groups have come out with reports that MHA is mulling introduction of Article 371 in J&K and is in talks with Jammu and Kashmir's law department regarding its implementation. Media reports further claimed that the government may implement it in Ladakh as well and said that proposal is still at the consultation level.



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