Source: The Hindu
Recently the government has abrogated Article 370 which gave special status to Jammu & Kashmir, Article 371, which has special provisions for other States, mostly from the Northeast, has invited some attention.
About Article 371 and its sub parts
Most of the States that have been accorded special provisions under Article 371 are in the northeast and the special status aims to preserve their tribal culture.
- It states that no act of Parliament shall apply to the State of Nagaland in respect of the religious or social practices of the Nagas, its customary law and procedure, administration of civil and criminal justice involving decisions according to Naga customary law and ownership and transfer of land and its resources.
- It shall apply to Nagaland only after the State Assembly passes a resolution to do so, it says.
- It deals with special provision with respect to the State of Assam.
- The main objective of inserting Article 371B was to facilitate the creation of the sub-State ‘Meghalaya’.
It deals with special provisions with respect to Manipur which became a State in 1972.
Articles 371F talk about special provisions with respect to the States of Sikkim
- It provides special powers to the Governor of Arunachal Pradesh, on the directions from the President with regard to the law and order in the state.
- Though the Governor will consult the Council of Ministers, the governor’s decision will be final. Only when the President directs, the special powers of the Governor can cease.
- It deals with special provisions with respect to Mizoram has similar nature.
- It states that an act of Parliament relating to religious and social practices of Mizo customary law and procedure, administration of civil or criminal justice involving decisions according to Mizo customary law, ownership and transfer of land and its resources will not apply to Mizoram unless State assembly decides to do so.
Powers of President of India and the Governors under it
- Article 371 gives the power to the President of India(Governor on the direction of the President) to establish separate development boards for Vidarbha, Marathwada regions of Maharashtra and the rest of the State and Saurashtra, Kutch and rest of Gujarat.
Special provisions to other states
Special provisions with respect to Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Goa are dealt in Articles 371D and 371E, 371J, 371I respectively.
Article 371-D: Special Provisions for Andhra Pradesh
Under this article the President can provide equal opportunities for the local populace in public education and employment. The President can ask the state to create an administrative tribunal to solve all the disputes with regard to appointments and promotions to civil posts in the state. Via Article 371-E, a Central University was established in Andhra Pradesh.
It provides special provision for Goa. As per this article, the State Legislative Assembly of Goa will consist of not less than 30 members.
Article 371-J: Special provisions for Karnataka
It provides some special provisions to the Hyderabad-Karnataka region. The President gives special responsibilities to the Governor of Karnataka to create a separate board to develop the Hyderabad-Karnataka regions. Every year, a report regarding the working of this board will be presented before the State Legislative Assembly. Equitable funds must be allotted for developing these regions. There will be reservation of seats for the education and vocational training of the students from this region besides reservation in the jobs with the state government for persons hailing from this region.