Jawaharlal Nehru – Shiekh Abdullah 1953 Agreement
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Issue Book Excerpt: Kashmir\'s Death Trap | Date : 06 Dec , 2023

Appendix – G

After the Constituent Assembly of Jammu and Kashmir arrived at its main decisions, representatives of the Indian government and the State met to discuss their implications. This arrangement between Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah and Jawaharlal Nehru agreed upon in July 1952 came to be known as the Delhi Agreement. Its main contents are:

1. The Government of India agreed that while the residuary powers of legislature vested in the Centre in respect of all States other than Jammu and Kashmir, in the case of the latter they vested in the State itself.

2. It was agreed that persons domiciled in Jammu and Kashmir shall be regarded as citizens of India, but the State Legislature was empowered to make laws for conferring special rights and privileges on the State’s subjects.

3. As the President of India commands the same respect in the State as he does in other units of India, Articles 52 to 62 of the Constitution relating to him should be applicable to the State.

4. The Union Government agreed that the State should have its own flag in addition to the Union flag, but it was agreed by the State Government that the State flag would not be a rival of the Union flag.

5. The Sadar-i-Riyasat, equivalent to the Governor of other States, will be elected by the State Legislature itself instead of being nominated by the Union government and the President of India.

6. In view of the peculiar position in which the State was placed, in particular, Sheikh Abdullah’s land reforms programme, the Fundamental Rights enshrined in the Constitution could not be made applicable to the State. The question that remained to be determined was whether Fundamental Rights should form a part of the State Constitution or the Constitution of India.

7. With regard to the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court of India, it was accepted that for the time being, owing to the existence of the Board of Judicial Advisers in the State, the Supreme Court should have only appellate jurisdiction.

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8. The Government of India insisted on the application of Article 352, empowering the President to proclaim a general Emergency in the State. The State government argued that the Union, in the exercise of its powers over Defence, would anyway have full authority to take steps and proclaim Emergency. In order to meet the viewpoint of the State’s delegation, the Government of India agreed to the modification of Article 352 in its application to Kashmir by the adding the words, “but in regard to internal disturbance at the request or with the concurrence of the Government of the State”, at the end of clause (1).

9. Both parties agreed that the application of Article 356, dealing with suspension of the State Constitution, and Article 360, dealing with financial emergency, was not necessary.

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About the Author

Danvir Singh

Associate Editor, Indian Defence Review, former Commanding Officer, 9 Sikh LI and author of  book "Kashmir's Death Trap: Tales of Perfidy and Valour".

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