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Instrument of Accession (Jammu and Kashmir)

The Instrument of Accession is a legal document executed by Maharajah Hari Singh, ruler of the State of Jammu and Kashmir (princely state), on October 26, 1947. It gives control of Jammu and Kashmir princely state (includes Jammu, Kashmir, Northern Areas, Ladakh and Aksai Chin) to the government of India.

"Whereas the Indian Independence Act, 1947, provides that as from the fifteenth day of August, 1947, there shall be set up an Independent Dominion known as India, and that the Government of India Act, 1935 shall, with such omission, additions, adaptations and modifications as the governor-general may by order specify, be applicable to the Dominion of India.

And whereas the Government of India Act 1935, as so adapted by the governor-general, provides that an Indian State may accede to the Dominion of India by an Instrument of Accession executed by the Ruler thereof.

Now, therefore, I Shriman Inder Mahander Rajrajeswar Maharajadhiraj Shri Hari Singhji, Jammu and Kashmir Naresh Tatha Tibbetadi Deshadhipathi, Ruler of Jammu and Kashmir (princely state), in the exercise of my sovereignty in and over my said State do hereby execute this my Instrument of Accession and I hereby declare that I accede to the Dominion of India with the intent that the governor-general of India, the Dominion Legislature, the Federal Court and any other Dominion authority established for the purposes of the Dominion shall, by virtue of this my Instrument of Accession but subject always to the terms thereof, and for the purposes only of the Dominion, exercise in relation to the State of Jammu and Kashmir (hereinafter referred to as "this State") such functions as may be vested in them by or under the Government of India Act, 1935, as in force in the Dominion of India, on the 15th day of August, 1947, (which Act as so in force is hereafter referred to as "the Act") ." It is further specified that. "I accept the matters specified in the schedule hereto as the matters with respect to which the Dominion Legislature may make law for this State." Thus the power of the Dominion to make laws was restricted to the matters mentioned in the Schedule namely Defence,Foreign Affairs and Communications and a few ancillary subjects specified in the schedule.For all other matters concurrence of the State Government was essential. The accession was accepted by Lord Mountbatten, Governor General of India, the following day (October 27, 1947). Lord Mountbatten in his letter of acceptance wrote that "Consistently with their policy that in the case of any State where the accession has been the subject of dispute,the question of accession should be decided in accordance with the wishes of the people of the State,it is my Government's wish that,as soon as law and order have been restored in Kashmir and her soil cleared of the invader,the question of the State's accession should be settled by a reference to the people."

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