What is the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Bill, 2019?
The Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Bill, 2019 was introduced in Rajya Sabha on August 5, 2019, by the Amit Shah. This bill divides the Jammu and Kashmir into two UTs i.e. the Union Territory of Ladakh and the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir.
Let us know in detail how the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Bill, 2019 will affect the administration and geography of the Jammu and Kashmir.
The Union Territory of Ladakh will have Kargil and Leh districts, and the Union Territory of Jammu & Kashmir will comprise the remaining territories of the existing state of Jammu and Kashmir.
Assembly seats in the Jammu and Kashmir:
The Reorganisation Bill, 2019 envisages the total number of Legislative Assembly seats 107 in the Jammu and Kashmir. Out of these 107 seats, 24 seats will remain vacant because these seats are in the Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (POK) which is illegally occupied by Pakistan.
After the abolition of article 370; some seats will be reserved for the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes in proportion to their population in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir.
In addition to this; the Lieutenant Governor may nominate two women members if they are not adequately represented.
The Legislative assembly will have tenure of five years instead of 6 years earlier.
The Power of Governor
The Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir will be administered by the President, through an administrator appointed by him. The administrator will be known as the Lieutenant Governor just like New Delhi Union Territory.
On the other hand, the Union Territory of Ladakh will also be administered by the President, through a Lieutenant-Governor appointed by him.
The Legislative Assembly may make laws for any part of the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir. These laws are related to;
(a) Any matters specified in the State List of the Constitution, except “Police” and “Public Order”, and
(b) Any matter in the Concurrent List applicable to Union Territories.
Further, Parliament will have the power to make laws in relation to any matter for the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir like the other UTs of India.
Council of Ministers:
The Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir will have a Council of Ministers to aid and advise the Lieutenant Governor. The size of the council of the Minister will not be more than 10% of the total number of members in the Assembly.
The Chief Minister will communicate all decisions of the Council to the Lieutenant Governor like the Chief Minister of Delhi and Puducherry do.
Common High Court in the UTs:
The High Court of Jammu and Kashmir will be the common High Court for the Union Territories of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh. In addition to this, there would be an Advocate General to provide legal advice to the government of the Union Territory of J&K.
The extent of laws: Now after the abolition of article 370; there are 153 state laws of Jammu and Kashmir that have also been repealed. This includes the lifting of prohibitions on the lease of land to persons who are not permanent residents of Jammu and Kashmir.
Now 106 laws of the central list will be applicable to Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh on a date notified by the central government. These new laws will be; Right to Education Act, 2009, Right to Information Act, 2005, Indian Penal Code 1860, Aadhaar Act, 2016.
So the introduction of The Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Bill, 2019 in the Jammu and Kashmir will open a new chapter in the history of India. Now the Jammu and Kashmir will have investment and other opportunities like other Indian states and Union territories.