The Jammu and Kashmir Reorganization Bill 2019

Author: Yash Johari, BBA LL.B, 1st Year, Amity Law School, Amity University Rajasthan. This article has been written by the author while pursuing the internship programme with us. Introduction – History and Section 370 After independence, the Jammu & Kashmir King Hari Singh wanted to have a separate state. Pakistan had their eye mainly on Kashmir because of its Muslim population, which resulted in Pakistan’s regular invasion on the territory of the state. The King asked lord Mount batten for advice and resulting in the advice the king signed the Instrument of Accession to India and became a part of India. The merger with India was a permanent deal and was also unquestionable but was in a way conditional that Jammu and Kashmir have their own special constitution, and everything will be as per their own constitution, even their flag would be a different one than India. This resulted in the creation of two new articles 35(C)[1] and 370[2] in the Indian Constitution. The creation of these articles was disputed because in a way there were special powers or superiority with the people of the state and may somehow feel separated from India as a nation. All the disputes were settled when a new bill was passed in the Lok Sabha on 6th august 2019. The Amendment The amendment was made using a clause (3) of Article 370[3] itself which states that it can cease to exist through a presidential order in consultation with the constituent assembly of Jammu and Kashmir. Which means that it can be made null and void after a presidential order. The situation in Jammu and Kashmir before 5th August was that there was no state government because there was the president’s rule on Jammu and Kashmir, so the powers of the assembly were transferred to Parliament all of which lead to the declaration of article 370 as null and void also with this declaration the Article 35A was also revoked. The amendment mentions that there will be no separate constitution, no separate flag, other Indian people can now buy the land, property and can apply for a scholarship and can also apply for government jobs in Jammu and Kashmir. The amendment has led to the Bifurcation of Jammu and Kashmir as one union territory and Ladakh as another union territory. So now the state of Jammu and Kashmir is divided into two union territories for better jurisdiction over the land. Merits and demerits of the amendment Merit 1. Economic development. This is a win-win situation for the Kashmiri natives because now people will be able to purchase land and invest in the state. Local Kashmiri natives will benefit from the situation that the prices of the land will increase and if they lease it or sell it, they will benefit from it. There will be infrastructural development in the area and with better scholarships the education system will also enhance. And, when people will be able to work as government employees there will be better job opportunities for everyone. 2. More job opportunities create less terrorism. With flourishing economy there will be more job opportunities available to the youth and the unemployment, stone-pelting, terrorism will eventually stop because the youth will have job opportunities in various field to occupy themselves with. 3. Psychological impact There will be a great impact on the psychology of the people of the state that there is one nation, one flag and one constitution to follow and abide by. This will create a sense of unity among the whole nation and the Kashmiris will come together with the nation as a whole. Demerits 1. Kashmiri natives were not asked before implementing the bill. In the passing of this act by the Lok Sabha, the opinions of Kashmiri natives were not taken; it was just implemented as soon as possible. The whole state was on lockdown all the politicians were house arrested and the source of communication was snatched from them. The government answered this in a very simple way that if this was to be discussed then there would be a lot of violence in the valley the situation would have been uncontrollable and also the strong point is that the discussion has been going on since the independence and there was no result of the discussion so the action was taken upon as soon as possible. 2. Unconditional and cheating The residents of the valley are saying that this was unconstitutional and was in a way cheating that they were not even told that the changes were being made related to their land. Also, some arguments were channelized that this was some sort of unconstitutional act by the government. The argument responded saying that this was in no way unconstitutional, it was just the use of a loophole in Article 370 which was used for the betterment of the valley and to unify it with the whole nation and also that they will be the one who benefits the most by this amendment. Statutory provisions The act reforms the state into two union territories, namely the union territory of Jammu and Kashmir and of Ladakh. While Jammu and Kashmir will have a legislative assembly. Ladakh will be supervised by a lieutenant governor solitary. Out of the six Lok Sabha seats allocated to the administration of Jammu and Kashmir, one will be allocated to Ladakh and five will be accorded to Jammu and Kashmir union territory. The High Court of Jammu and Kashmir will process for both the union territory[4]. A lieutenant governor appointed by the president will conduct the union territory of Jammu and Kashmir, which will have a legislative assembly of 107 to 114 members, with a term of five years and it may make laws for any of the issues in the state list except public order and police, which will remain as the law-making powers of the union government. A Council of Ministers including a Chief Minister will be appointed by the lieutenant governor from the members of the legislative assembly, with the role to advise the lieutenant governor in the exercise of tasks in topics under the legislative assembly’s jurisdiction. In other issues, the lieutenant governor is authorized to act in his own capacity, who will also have the power to promulgate ordinances having the identical force as laws legislated by the legislature[5]. Conclusion The decision of passing the bill and making the amendments was a remarkable and historic decision for India. This decision will make the valley more connected to India. The Kashmiri natives will feel united under one nation, one flag and one Constitution. The decision was though taken without taking the public opinion and in a way enforcing it upon the Valley but was taken for the greater good of the whole state. Now the state will have a direct jurisdiction under the central government. There will be economic, educational, infrastructural, job-related and many more developments in the state because of this decision. Adding up all the facts, though this was a decision taken by the government in a way which gave birth to a lot of controversy but in the long run it will benefit the natives of Jammu and Kashmir and will be a step forward in achieving ‘Unity in Diversity’. References
[1] P.M. Bakshi, Commentary on The Constitution of India 335

[2] P.M. Bakshi, Commentary on The Constitution of India 819

[3] P.M. Bakshi, Commentary on The Constitution of India 822

[4] No. 53,The Gazette of India, PART-II & III (May 6th 2020, 09:07 AM), egazette.nic.in

[5] No. 53,The Gazette of India, PART-II & III (May 6th 2020, 09:09 AM), egazette.nic.in Disclaimer: Views and opinions as expressed in the Research Articles are solely of the author and any member of the core team of the website shall not be liable for the same.

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