The Jammu and Kashmir State Subject Laws repealed upon removal of Article 35-A on August 5, 2019, had a long history. By late 19th century, government jobs and businesses in Kashmir were dominated by non-Kashmiris, mainly Punjabis. This had the Kashmiri Pandits, the educated community in Kashmir, alarmed. The Pandits and also Muslims launched several agitations in 1880s. In this backdrop, in 1889, under the pressure of British authorities, Maharaja Pratap Singh issued circular to all departments that Mulki (natives) should be given preference in government jobs in the State. The circular was loosely defined and had no adequate force of law. Sporadic agitations, therefore, continued. In 1912 an Order was passed by the Maharaja defining first time a State Subject was one who had obtained an Ijazat Nama, a certificate to the effect that the holder was entitled to all the rights of citizenship of the State, from the Darbar. This Order too did not stop the “outsiders” getting jobs & employment in the State administration. This order also had deficiences and hence resentment. Finally, the 1912-Order was replaced by the Notification 1-L/84 dated 20-04-1927 whereby the term “State Subject” was replaced by the term “Hereditary State Subject.” Under the Notification of 1927, the rights of employment in the public service & land were forbidden to non-State Subjects & under this Notification four categories of the Hereditary-State-Subjects of all regions of erstwhile princely State of Jammu and Kashmir were defined.
In the post 1947 scenario, the citizenship was a major negotiating point between leadership of Jammu and Kashmir and the Government of India. Following Delhi Agreement of 1952, the special State Subject laws were adopted in the Constitution of India through what came to be known as Constitution (Application to Jammu and Kashmir) Order 1954 and consequently Article 35-A of the Constitution.
Following is the text of the State Subject laws of 1927
No. I-L/84. – The following definition of the term “State Subject” has been sanctioned by his Highness the Maharaja Bahadur (vice Private Secretary’s letter No. 2354, dated the 31st January, 1927 to the Revenue Member of Council) and is hereby promulgated for general information.
The term State Subject means and includes –
Class I. – All persons born and residing within the State before the commencement of the reign of His Highness the late Maharaja Ghulab Singh Sahib Bahadur, and also persons who settled the rein before the commencement of samvat year 1942, and have since been permanently residing therein.
Class II. – All persons other than those belonging to Class I who settled within the State before the close of samvat year 1968, and have since permanently resided and acquired immovable property therein.
Class III. – All persons, other than those belonging to Classes I and II permanently residing within the State, who have acquired under a rayatnama any immovable property therein or WIZO may hereafter acquire such property under an ijazatnama and may execute a rayatnama after ten years continuous residence therein.
Class IV. – Companies which have been registered as such within the State and which, being companies in which the Government are financially interested or as to the economic benefit to the State or to the financial stability of which the Government are satisfied, have by a special order of His Highness been declared to be State subjects.
Note I. – In matters of grants of the State scholarships State lands for agricultural and house building purposes and recruitment to State service, State subjects of Class 1 should receive preference over other classes and those of Class 11, over Class III, subject, however, to the order dated 31st January, 1927 of his Highness the Maharaja Bahadur regarding employment of hereditary State Subjects in Government service.
Note II. – The descendants of the persons who have secured the status of any class of the State Subjects will be entitled to. become the State Subject of the same class. For example, if A is declared a State Subject of Class II his sons and grand sons. will ipso facto acquire the status of the same Class (II) and not of Class I.
Note III. – The wife or a widow of a State Subject of any class shall acquire the status of her husband as State Subject of the same Class as her husband, so long as she resides in the State and does not leave the State for permanent residence out-side the State.
Note IV. – For the purpose of the interpretation of the term ‘State Subject’ either with reference to any law for the time being in force or otherwise, the definition given in this Notificaticn as . mended up to date shall be read as if such amended definition existed in this Notification as originally issued.
(Issued by order of His Highness the Maharaja Bahadur dated Srinagar, the 27th June 1932, (14th Har, 1989, published In Government Gazette dated 24th Har, 1989).
No.13L/1989. – -Whereas it is necessary to determine the status of Jammu and Kashmir State Subjects in foreign territories and to inform the Government of Foreign States as to the position of their nationals in this state, it is hereby commanded and notified for public information, as follows:
That all emigrants from the Jammu and Kashmir State to foreign territories shall be considered State Subjects and also the descendants of these emigrants born aboard for two generations.Provided that, these nationals of the Jammu and Kashmir State shall not be entitled to claim the internal rights granted to subjects of this State by the laws, unless they fulfill the conditions laid down by those laws and rules for the specific purposes mentioned therein.
The foreign nationals residing in the State of Jarnmu and Kashmir shall not acquire the nationality of the Jammu and Kashmir State until after the age of 18 on purchasing immovable property under permission of an ijazatnama and on obtaining a rayatnama after ten years continuous residence in the Jammu and Kashmir State as laid down in Notification No.-l-L. of 1984, dated 20th April, 1927.
Certificates of nationality of the Jammu and Kashmir State may, on application, be granted by the Minister-in Charge of the Political Department in accordance with the provision of section I of this Notification.