Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, 2019
The Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, 2019 is an act of the Parliament of India containing provisions to reconstitute the State of Jammu and Kashmir, a part of the larger region of Kashmir which has been the subject of dispute among India, Pakistan, and China since 1947, into two union territories called Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh, on 31 October 2019. A bill for the act was introduced by the Minister of Home Affairs, Amit Shah, in the Rajya Sabha on 5 August 2019 and was passed on the same day. It was then passed by the Lok Sabha on 6 August 2019 and it received the President's assent on 9 August 2019.
|Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, 2019|
|Parliament of India|
|Citation||Act No. 34 of 2019|
|Considered by||Parliament of India|
|Enacted by||Rajya Sabha|
|Enacted||August 5, 2019|
|Enacted by||Lok Sabha|
|Enacted||August 6, 2019|
|Assented to||August 9, 2019|
|Signed||August 9, 2019|
|Signed by||Ram Nath Kovind |
President of India
|Effective||October 31, 2019|
|Bill citation||Bill No. XXIX of 2019|
|Bill published on||August 5, 2019|
|Introduced by||Amit Shah |
Minister of Home Affairs
|First reading||August 5, 2019|
|Second reading||August 6, 2019|
|Status: In force|
The introduction of the bill was preceded by a presidential order under Article 370 of the Indian constitution that revoked Jammu and Kashmir's special status. The Home Minister had implied that all the measures including the shutdown of communication services and the downgrade to the status of Union Territory, were temporary measures and will soon be lifted.
Article 370 of the Indian constitution gave Jammu and Kashmir special status. In contrast to other states of India, Jammu and Kashmir had its own constitution and a substantially higher degree of administrative autonomy. In particular, Indian citizens from other states could not purchase land or property in Jammu and Kashmir.
Jammu and Kashmir had three distinct areas: overwhelmingly Muslim-majority Kashmir (95% Muslim) with a population of nearly 7 million people, a Hindu-majority (66%) Jammu with a population of 5.35 million people and a 30% Muslim population, and Ladakh, which has sparse population of 287,000 people, a Muslim plurality, or relative majority, at 46%, and a Buddhist minority at 40% (with Hindus making up 12%). Violence and unrest persisted in the Indian-administered Muslim majority areas and, following a disputed state election in 1987, an insurgency persisted in protest over autonomy and rights. The Bharatiya Janata Party came to power in the 2014 Indian general election and had included in their 2019 election manifesto the revocation of Article 370 of the Constitution of India.
Prior to the introduction of the bill and the revocation of the state's special status, the central government put the Kashmir valley on lock-down, with a surge in security forces, imposition of Section 144 preventing assembly, and the placement of political leaders such as former Jammu and Kashmir chief ministers Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti under house arrest. The State had been first under Governor's rule and then under President's rule since 20 June 2018, after the coalition government headed by Mehbooba Mufti lost support from the Bharatiya Janata Party. 35,000 paramilitary troops were deployed to Jammu & Kashmir, prior to which a warning was issued to annual Hindu pilgrims and tourists citing a terror threat and imminent attacks by militants. The imposing of restrictions included the blocking of internet and phone services. The moves were followed by the revocation of the state's special status.
The act reorganises the state into two union territories, namely the eponymous union territory of Jammu and Kashmir, and that of Ladakh. While the former will have a legislative assembly, Ladakh will be administered by a lieutenant governor alone. The union territory of Ladakh will include the districts of Leh and Kargil, while all other districts will be accorded to Jammu and Kashmir. Out of the six Lok Sabha seats allocated to the state of Jammu and Kashmir, one will be allocated to Ladakh and five will be accorded to the Jammu and Kashmir union territory. The High Court of Jammu and Kashmir will function as the High Court for both the union territories.
The act provides that the administration of the Jammu and Kashmir will be as per Article 239A of the Indian constitution. Article 239A, originally formulated for the union territory of Puduchery, will also be applicable to Jammu and Kashmir. A lieutenant governor appointed by the president will administer the union territory of Jammu and Kashmir, which will have a legislative assembly of 107 to 114 members, with a tenure of five years. The legislative assembly may make laws for any of the matters 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 functions in matters under the legislative assembly's jurisdiction. In other matters, the lieutenant governor is empowered to act in his own capacity, who will also have the power to promulgate ordinances having the same force as acts enacted by the legislature.
The bill was introduced by the Minister of Home Affairs Amit Shah in the Rajya Sabha on 5 August 2019. The introduction of the bill was preceded by a Presidential Order under the Article 370 of the Indian Constitution, which superseded the 1954 Presidential Order. It made, inter alia, all the provisions of the Indian constitution applicable to the State of Jammu and Kashmir. The 1954 Order had a provison to the Article 3 of the Indian constitution, stating that the Union would not alter the area, name and the boundaries of the State of Jammu and Kashmir. Its revocation paved the way for the introduction of the Reorganisation Bill.
The bill caused pandemonium in the Rajya Sabha. Two members of the Jammu and Kashmir People's Democratic Party (PDP) tore up copies of the Indian constitution in protest, following which they were suspended from the House; 13 members of the Trinamool Congress walked out of the House; and 6 members of Janata Dal United (allied to the ruling BJP) boycotted the voting. However, the bill acquired the support of Bahujan Samaj Party, YSR Congress, Telugu Desam Party and the Aam Aadmi Party. Along with the 107 members of the ruling National Democratic Alliance, the number of supporting parliamentarians totalled to 117. The bill was passed by the Rajya Sabha with 125 members in favour and 61 members against.
The Bill was introduced in the lower house of Indian parliament, Lok Sabha on 6 August 2019. The All India Trinamool Congress and Janata Dal (United) walked out from the house, while Indian National Congress, Nationalist Congress Party and Samajwadi Party opposed the bill; Bharatiya Janata Party, Shiv Sena, Biju Janata Dal, YSR Congress Party, Telangana Rashtra Samithi, Telugu Desam Party, Shiromani Akali Dal and Bahujan Samaj Party supported it. The bill was passed by the house with 370 votes in favour and 70 votes against.
|Parliamentary Votes: The Question is that the Jammu & Kashmir Reorganisation Bill, 2019 be passed. The motion is put to vote.|
|Rajya Sabha Slipcast Vote Count (of members present)||06 August 2019||Lok Sabha Electronic Vote Count (of members present)||05 August 2019|
125 / 209
370 / 440
061 / 209
070 / 440
023 / 209
000 / 440
|Result: The Ayes have it, the Ayes have it, the Ayes have it. The motion is adopted and the bill is passed.|
Following the implementation of the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, 2019, the Government of India further approved the following related laws:
The Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation (Adaptation of State Laws) Order, 2020 was posted by the central government on its Gazette on 31 March 2020. The order resulted in the repeal of 25 prior state laws as a whole. The remaining 113 state laws were adopted with changes. This move by the central government came under specific criticism for the changes to the Jammu and Kashmir Civil Services (Decentralization and Recruitment) Act, 2010 which resulted in a modification to the states' domicile laws. Previously, Article 370 reserved land and jobs only for 'permanent residents', the definition of which was altered to include domiciles through the approval of the new order. Under the news laws "domiciles" would be given jobs in the state. Among the various criteria under the modified law, anybody who has "resided for a period of fifteen years in the Union territory of Jammu and Kashmir" or migrants registered by the Relief and Rehabilitation Commissioner of the Union Territory will be eligible for a domicile. A number of political parties including Jammu and Kashmir Apni Party and the Jammu unit of BJP opposed the order and showed discontentment. On 3 April 2020, a fresh order was issued by the central government that made six changes to the previous order. Among the changes were providing protection to domiciles in any government post as compared to only selected posts before. A new order, the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation (Adaptation of State Laws) Second Order, 2020, with relation to the Jammu and Kashmir Civil Services (Decentralisation and Recruitment) Act was passed on 19 May 2020. This order modified applicability of domicile orders to "all level of jobs" in the union territory.
On 27 October 2020, the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation (Adaptation of Central Laws) Third Order, 2020 came into force. ANI reported that under the orders "12 state laws have been repealed and 26 others have been adapted with changes or substitutes".
- People's Republic of China—On 31 October 2019, the Chinese Foreign ministry said that India’s decision to unilaterally change its domestic laws and administrative divisions is void, illegal and will not affect “the fact that the area is under Chinese actual control”. Reacting to these statements, India said that this matter is completely internal to India and it expects other countries, including China, to refrain from commenting on this. India also added that China has illegally occupied its territory.
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- Kashmir conflict
- Exodus of Kashmiri Hindus
- Incorporation of Azad Kashmir as nominally self-governing state of Pakistan
- Instrument of Accession (Jammu and Kashmir)
- Indira–Sheikh Accord
- Pakistan and state-sponsored terrorism
- Revocation of the special status of Jammu and Kashmir
- Women's rights in Jammu and Kashmir
- Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation (Amendment) Bill, 2021
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