Jaleel, also pointed out the fact that "Jammu & Kashmir is not the only state for which special provisions have been laid down in the Indian Constitution — a wide range of safeguards are available to as many as 11 other states, listed in Articles 371, 371A to 371H, and 371J."
The special status accorded to Jammu & Kashmir in the Constitution is always under debate. According to the Sangh Parivar, special status has prevented its “full integration” into the Indian Union, an article in The Indian Express by Muzamil Jaleel reads. He argues that in Constitution, there is a range of ‘special provisions’ for other states too. He states that among the “special privileges” available to J&K, the prominent ones are the ban on non-residents from acquiring property in the state and voting in the legislative Assembly elections, both of which are under challenge in the Supreme Court in a case against the constitutional validity of Article 35A.
Jaleel, also pointed out the fact that “Jammu & Kashmir is not the only state for which special provisions have been laid down in the Indian Constitution — a wide range of safeguards are available to as many as 11 other states, listed in Articles 371, 371A to 371H, and 371J.”
These 11 states are Assam, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh, Karnataka, Nagaland, Mizoram, Manipur, Andra Pradesh and Telangana, he wrote. Art 371I deals with Goa, but does not include any provision that can be termed ‘special’.
Going by the history, in 1947, Jammu & Kashmir negotiated the terms and conditions of its merging with the Indian Union. It acceded to the Union on Defence, Foreign Affairs and Communication, but wanted its own Constitution, to be drafted by its own Constituent Assembly. Article 370 was introduced in the Indian Constitution after PM Jawaharlal Nehru and J&K Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah negotiated it for five months.
The existence of special provisions in Art 371, 371A-H, and 371J also shows that other princely states, too, negotiated the terms and conditions of their entry into the Union, or sought special constitutional protections in view of their unique needs and conditions. “One important difference between Articles 370 and 371, and Articles 371A-H and 371J, is that while the latter set of provisions were incorporated into the Constitution by Parliament through amendments under Art 368 (which lays down the “power of Parliament to amend the Constitution and procedure therefor”), Articles 370 and 371 have been part of the Constitution from the time of its commencement on January 26, 1950, ” Jaleel writes.