Legislative Council abolished in J&K

5 min read

News: The Jammu & Kashmir Legislative Council, has been abolished as per Section 57 of the J&K Reorganisation Bill, 2019. . J&K and Ladakh will be a UT from November 1.

Facts:

About J&K legislative Council

  • It was the upper house of the Assembly. It had a strength of 36 members.
  • It was also used to be a part of the electoral college for the Rajya Sabha elections.

About J&K Reorganisation Bill, 2019

  • The Act reorganizes the state of Jammu and Kashmir into the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir with a legislature and the Union Territory of Ladakh without a legislature.
  • The Union Territory of Ladakh will consist of Kargil and Leh districts and the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir will consist of the remaining territories of the existing state of Jammu and Kashmir.

Some of the important provisions of the bill are as follows:

  •  The Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh will be administered by the President through an Administrator appointed as the Lieutenant Governor.
  •  The Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir will have a Council of Ministers (The strength of the Council should not be more than ten percent of the total number of members in the Assembly). The Council will aid and advise the Lieutenant Governor on matters that the Assembly has powers to make laws.
  • There will be a single common High Court (i.e, the High Court of Jammu and Kashmir) for the Union Territories of Ladakh and Jammu and Kashmir.
  • An Advocate General will provide legal advice to the government of the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir.
  • The central government will appoint Advisory Committees, for various purposes, including:
    • Distribution of assets and liabilities of corporations of the state of Jammu and Kashmir between the two Union Territories,
    • Issues related to the generation and supply of electricity and water, and
    • Issues related to the Jammu and Kashmir State Financial Corporation.
    • These Committees must submit their reports within six months to the Lieutenant Governor of Jammu and Kashmir.

Additional Information

Article 370

  • In August 2019, Government of India promulgated the Constitution (Application to Jammu and Kashmir) Order, 2019. The order abrogated some provisions in Article 370 which granted special status to J&K.
  • India included Article 370 in Part XXI of the Indian Constitution in 1950, which read “Temporary, Transitional and Special Provisions”. This special status gave the following special powers to J&K:
  • It allowed J&K to have its own Constitution and Flag.
  • Article 370 explicitly mentioned that only the provisions of Article 1 and Article 370 applied to the state.
  • The Centre could extend the central laws on subjects included in the Instrument of Accession (IoA) — Defence, External Affairs and Communications — by “consultation” with the state government.
  • Remaining central laws could be extended to the state only with the “concurrence” of the state government.