Instrument of Accession


Instrument of Accession

Various princely states existed in India during the period of the British Raj. After the British announced their imminent exit from India, it became necessary to place the future relations between these states and the government of free India on a regularized legal footing. The Instrument of Accession was the legal document designed to provide this legal basis for future relations. It was executed by the government of India on the one hand with the rulers of each of the princely states, individually, on the other hand.

Among the more momentous such accessions was that executed by Maharaja Hari Singh, ruler of the State of Jammu and Kashmir, on October 26, 1947. It gave control of Jammu and Kashmir to the government of India. The accession of Jammu and Kashmir was accepted by Lord Mountbatten, Governor General of India, on October 27, 1947.

cquote|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 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") .

Lord Mountbatten, the Governor-General of India, on conditionally accepting the Instrument of Accession wrote:"consistently with their policy that in the case of any state where the issue of 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. "

Related links

* [http://mha.nic.in/accdoc.htm An Accession Document filled out for Jammu and Kashmir State]
* [http://www.jammu-kashmir.com/documents/instrument_of_accession.html The above in text mode.]


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