Reorganization of Jammu and Kashmir

Reorganization of Jammu and Kashmir

Author:- Lagan Singh, New Law College, Bharati Vidyapeeth, Pune(Maharashtra)


The Reorganization of Jammu and Kashmir Act was passed on 5 August 2019, this act repealed Article 370 of the constitution of India which gave special status to the state of Jammu and Kashmir. The main concern of this act was to convert the state of Jammu and Kashmir into the union territory of Jammu and Kashmir and the union territory of Ladakh. Reorganization of states in India is common and takes place when needed but the reorganization of the State of Jammu and Kashmir was special and more concerning than the others, all this is because of its special status provided by Article 370 of the constitution. Jammu and Kashmir had its mini-constitution and governance, it was not governed like the rest of the states, and it had a special status, people from other states could not purchase any land in the state of Jammu and Kashmir, although people would love to buy property in Jammu and Kashmir as it is so beautiful that people consider it heaven and who wouldn’t want to have a home in heaven. The special status was given to Jammu and Kashmir because the citizens of Jammu and Kashmir were insecure about their identity and future. In the reorganization act, it is clearly said that the union territory of Jammu and Kashmir will have a legislative assembly and Ladakh will not have the assembly. In 2019 when this act was passed, there was a lockdown in Kashmir and all the internet services were restricted, the government was highly criticized by the people for this action, but the majority of the parliament was in favor of the Act. The lockdown and internet restriction were necessary because the reorganization of the state with a special status was happening for the first time in India, it was a delicate issue and Jammu and Kashmir has always been a land of conflicts between India and Pakistan so it was for the best that internet was shut off along with a lockdown because there were definite chances that there would have been protests by the people of Jammu and Kashmir and the conflict between the countries would have risen more.

Article 370 

Article 370 of the Indian constitution grants a special status to the State of Jammu and Kashmir, it says that the state can have its constitution and separate governance. It can have its laws, but it will not be governed by the center as other states. Article 370 of the Constitution was supposed to be temporary and was to be removed but for many reasons, it was not removed it stayed as it was since the day it was applied to the state, only in 2019 when the reorganization act was passed, it got removed. It was important to remove Article 370 because Jammu and Kashmir was slowly becoming an independent state as no laws of the constitution applied to it, the state of Jammu and Kashmir has always been a reason for conflict between India and Pakistan so it was not safe to leave the state independent, on its own, many cases of conflicts among the population of the state came up, so it was not a good idea to give it special status because if a state is given a special status and the powers to make its laws then it would want to be separated but it should not happened as it is a part of India and not a separate country so it has to be governed by the constitution of India as any other state, giving too much independence is not good, it is not safe but this independence was given to the State of Jammu and Kashmir for a long time and it did a little good to its people but gave rise to much more conflicts which were concerning for the state’s safety and to achieve that safety and protection it was a wise decision to repeal article 370 of the Constitution, it was opposed by the people of Jammu and Kashmir but it was for their own good and safety that it got repealed.

Union territories in India

The concept of union territories was the grace of the Seventh Amendment Act, this concept was not already present in the constitution. In basic words, union territory means the administrative division of the Republic of India. Union territories have an administrator or lieutenant governor who is appointed by the president of India, the union territories are directly governed by the union and the administration of the union territories comes under part eighth of the Indian Constitution. The union territories follow the general will of the union, smaller union territories are generally governed directly by the center and may or may not have elected assemblies. There were seven union territories in India but in 2019 the states of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh were also added to the list of union territories, now there are eight union territories in India, those are:-

  • Daman and Diu.
  • Andaman and Nicobar islands.
  • Delhi.
  • Chandigarh.
  • Dadra and Nagar Haveli.
  • Jammu and Kashmir.
  • Ladakh.
  • Lakshadweep.

Jammu and Kashmir Reorganization Act

The Jammu and Kashmir Reorganization Act was passed in 2019, this act repealed Article 370 and made the state of Jammu and Kashmir a union territory with a legislative assembly and a lieutenant governor, it also has a high court, this high court is common for Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh. Ladakh was also converted into Union territory, but it was without a legislative assembly. In 2021, new constituency borders were introduced so that elections in the Jammu and Kashmir legislative assembly could take place. Before 2019, Jammu and Kashmir had a lower house of legislative assembly and a legislative council, in 2018, it was dissolved by the governor of Jammu and Kashmir. Now, Jammu and Kashmir has a legislative assembly, the legislative assembly has seats reserved for scheduled tribes and scheduled castes, and the lieutenant governors can nominate two women members for the assembly. There is also a council of ministers of not more than ten percent of the total number of assembly members. Now all the laws apply to the union territory of Jammu and Kashmir as they apply to other states, people can now purchase land in Jammu and Kashmir too.

Jammu and Kashmir Reorganization ( Amendment ) Bill, 2023

This bill has been passed by the Rajya Sabha on 11 December, 2023. The amendments that are being done by this act to the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganization Act, 2019, are:-

  • There were a total of 83 seats in the legislative assembly, now it has been increased to 90. Six seats were reserved for the scheduled castes before and no seats were reserved for scheduled tribes but now, after this amendment seven seats are reserved for scheduled castes and nine seats are reserved for the scheduled tribes.
  • Now, the lieutenant governor can appoint two members from the Kashmiri migrant community but one of them should be a woman.
  • The lieutenant governor may now nominate one member from the displaced persons of Jammu and Kashmir, from the part, which has been acquired by Pakistan.


The reorganization of the state of Jammu and Kashmir was a really good move by the government. The removal of Article 370 helped in the development of Jammu and Kashmir, tourism increased, and conflicts among its citizens decreased. There was discrimination against lower classes and economically poor classes in Jammu and Kashmir, which also reduced. India is a sovereign country and Jammu and Kashmir is a part of this sovereign country, it was not fair to give it special status, a separate constitution, and governance, maybe, in the beginning, it was fair for its citizens but after some time it should have been removed because it was temporary. There was an increased crime rate and killings in Jammu and Kashmir before its reorganization, which now, has been reduced, after the reorganization act. Jammu and Kashmir is the heaven of India and that is why it has to be protected at any cost if it had remained in the special status for any more time then it would have become hell and would have been lost in crime and discrimination and who knows, it might have been fully acquired by Pakistan because of its vulnerability and separate laws from all the other states of India. Now Jammu and Kashmir is no more vulnerable and there is no risk of losing it or of it turning into hell, it will remain the heaven of India.

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