Interim Act 1974

Interim Act 1974 Full Title

The full title of the Act is “Azad Jammu and Kashmir Interim Constitution Act 1974”. 

Introduction

This is an Act to repeal and, with certain modifications, re-enact the Azad Jammu and Kashmir Government Act, 1970. As per provisions of this Act, the future status of the State of Jammu and Kashmir is yet to be determined. The has to be in accordance with the freely expressed will of the people of the State and through the democratic method of free and fair plebiscite. The Act also defines that such plebiscite is to be conducted under the United Nations as it was declared in UN resolutions on Kashmir issue. 

Legal Framework 

The Act exists to provide a legal framework for the better government and administration of Azad Jammu and Kashmir until such time as the status of Jammu  and Kashmir is determined. The Act sets out significant laws pertaining to the nature of business of the state. Part 1 and 2 offer some details about the title, commencement and explanation of various terms used in the Act. However, the real content of the legislation begins from part 3. In this section, there is an exclusive clause that states about Islam will be the state religion without any further description about such an important issue.

The rights and freedoms

The Act provides a detail description about various rights and freedoms available in accordance with the law of the land.  For example , the first right discussed here is about liberty followed by a detail explanation of safeguarding people against arrests and detention. There is a clause that describes that slavery and forced labour will be prohibited in the state.

Right to freedom of movement.

Subject to any reasonable restrictions  imposed by law in the public interest, every State subject shall have the right to move freely throughout Azad Jammu and Kashmir territory and to reside and settle in any part thereof.

Right to freedom of assembly

Every State Subject shall have the right to assemble peacefully and without arms, subject to any reasonable restrictions imposed by law in the interest of public order.

Right to freedom of association

Subject to this Act, every  State subject shall have the right to form association or unions, subject to any reasonable restrictions imposed by law in the interest of morality or public order.

Accession to Pakistan

Under the provisions of this legal framework, no person or political party in Azad Jammu and Kashmir shall be permitted to propagate against, or take part in activities prejudicial or detrimental to, the ideology of the State’s accession to Pakistan.

Right to freedom of trade, business or profession

People will have the right to enter upon any lawful profession or occupation, and to conduct any lawful trade or business under certain conditions and provisions.

Right to freedom of speech

Every State subject shall have the right to freedom of speech and expression, subject to any reasonable restrictions imposed by law in the interest of the security of Azad Jammu and Kashmir, friendly relations with Pakistan, public order, decency or morality, or in relation to contempt of Court, defamation or incitement to an offence.

Right to freedom of religion

Subject to law, public order and morality- (a) Every state subject has the right to profess and practice his religion; and (b) every religious denomination and every sect thereof has the right to establish, maintain and manage its places of worship. 

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