Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, 2019

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Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, 2019
Emblem of India
Parliament of India
CitationAct No. 34 of 2019
Considered byParliament of India
Enacted byRajya Sabha
EnactedAugust 5, 2019 (2019-08-05)
Enacted byLok Sabha
EnactedAugust 6, 2019 (2019-08-06)
Assented toAugust 9, 2019 (2019-08-09)
SignedAugust 9, 2019 (2019-08-09)
Signed byRam Nath Kovind
President of India
EffectiveOctober 31, 2019 (2019-10-31)[1]
Legislative history
Bill citationBill No. XXIX of 2019
Bill published onAugust 5, 2019 (2019-08-05)
Introduced byAmit Shah
Minister of Home Affairs
First readingAugust 5, 2019 (2019-08-05)
Second readingAugust 6, 2019 (2019-08-06)
Status: In force

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,[2][3] into two union territories called Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh, on 31 October 2019.[4] 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.[5]

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.

Background[edit]

A map of the disputed Kashmir region showing the new Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh.

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 administrative autonomy.[6] In particular, Indian citizens from other states could not purchase land or property in Jammu and Kashmir.[7]

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%).[8] 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.[9][10] 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.[11]

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.[12] The State had been first under Governor's rule and then under President's rule since 20 June 2018,[13] after the coalition government headed by Mehbooba Mufti lost support from the Bharatiya Janta Party. 35,000 paramilitary troops were deployed to Jammu & Kashmir,[14] 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.[15][16] The moves were followed by the revocation of the state's special status.[17]

Statutory provisions[edit]

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.[18] 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.[18]

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.[18] 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.[18] 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.[18]

Enactment[edit]

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.[a] 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.[19]

Rajya Sabha[edit]

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;[20][21] 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.[22] 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.[22] The bill was passed by the Rajya Sabha with 125 members in favour and 61 members against.[22][23]

Rajya Sabha voting
Party In favour Against Abstain
BJP 78  –  –
INC  – 46  –
JD(U)  –  – 6
AIADMK 11  –  –
AITC  –  – 13
NCP  –  – 4
BJD 7  –  –
SP  – 11  –
TRS 6  –  –
DMK  – 5  –
Shiv Sena 4  –  –
CPI(M)  – 5  –
BSP 4  –  –
RJD  – 5  –
AAP 3  –  –
SAD 3  –  –
TDP 2  –  –
YSRCP 2  –  –
RPI(A) 1  –  –
NPF 1  –  –
LJP 1  –  –
BPF 1  –  –
AGP 1  –  –
Nominated Members 4  –  –
Independent
Total 125 61 23

Lok Sabha[edit]

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.[24] The bill was passed by the house with 370 votes in favour and 70 votes against.[25][26][27][28]

Assent and publication[edit]

The bill received the assent of the president on 9 August 2019, subsequent to which it was published in The Gazette of India.[29] A notification published on the same day provides for the union territories to come into effect from 31 October 2019.[1]

Aftereffects[edit]

Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Order (2020)[edit]

Following the implementation of Article 370 - which provided the state of Jammu and Kashmir with a special status - and the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, the Government of India further approved a set of laws known as the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Order which would allow citizens from other states to become permanent residents of the union territory of Jammu and Kashmir.[30] The central government posted this on its latest Gazette on 31 March, 2020. Previously, Article 370 reserved lands and jobs only for ‘permanent residents’, the definition of which has been altered to domiciles through the approval of the new order.[31][32] Under this new law, any person or children of a parent who has resided in the union territory of Jammu and Kashmir for at least 15 years or who has studied for a period of seven years and appeared in class 10 or 12 examinations in an educational institution located in the territory will be eligible to become a permanent resident.[33][34] Furthermore, central government officials who have served in the region for at least 10 years will also be provided domicile status along with their children.[35][31] A migrant registered by the Relief and Rehabilitation Commissioner of the Union Territory will also be eligible to be domicile.[36] This notification was issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs in exercise of the powers provided by section 14 under section 96 of the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, referred to as the Jammu and Kashmir Civil Services (Decentralization and Recruitment Act).[34]

This law would allow people with a domicile status to apply for gazetted or non-gazetted jobs.[37] Initially, the Home Ministry issued an order that provided protection to domiciles in “Group D and entry-level non gazetted government posts,” i.e. a post carrying a pay-scale of not more than level 4.[38] However, political parties in Kashmir showed discontent to this new law stating it was discriminatory towards the citizens of the state. Hence, on April 3, 2020, a fresh order was issued that would reserve any post in the government for the domiciles including senior positions in the group A and B categories.[38]

The approval of this order was met with sharp criticism from the Pakistani government as it called the act another attempt of reorganizing the demographics of the single Muslim majority region in India by the “fascist Modi government”. Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan also reacted by stating that the “new Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Order is a clear violation of the 4th Geneva Convention.”[33] Political parties in Kashmir opposed this law as well. Omar Abdullah, former Chief Minister and National Conference Vice-President stated this act as an "insult being heaped on injury" referring to the timing of the approval of this new law instead of putting effort and attention on the COVID-19 outbreak.[39]

A new domicile order was passed on 19 May 2020.[40][clarification needed]

Reactions[edit]

  •  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.[41].

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ The 1954 Order had made only certain Articles of the Indian constitution applicable to the State and others with various exceptions and provisos. Further orders extended its scope, but fell short of extending the full scope of the Indian constitution to the State.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b http://egazette.nic.in/WriteReadData/2019/210412.pdf
  2. ^ Akhtar, Rais; Kirk, William, Jammu and Kashmir, State, India, Encyclopaedia Britannica, retrieved 7 August 2019 (subscription required) Quote: "Jammu and Kashmir, state of India, located in the northern part of the Indian subcontinent in the vicinity of the Karakoram and westernmost Himalayan mountain ranges. The state is part of the larger region of Kashmir, which has been the subject of dispute between India, Pakistan, and China since the partition of the subcontinent in 1947."
  3. ^ Jan·Osma鈔czyk, Edmund; Osmańczyk, Edmund Jan (2003), Encyclopedia of the United Nations and International Agreements: G to M, Taylor & Francis, pp. 1191–, ISBN 978-0-415-93922-5 Quote: "Jammu and Kashmir: Territory in northwestern India, subject to a dispute between India and Pakistan. It has borders with Pakistan and China."
  4. ^ Ministry of Law and Justice, Legislative Department (2019). The Gazette of India (PDF). New Delhi: Authority. p. 1.
  5. ^ DelhiAugust 9, Press Trust of India New; August 10, 2019UPDATED:; Ist, 2019 09:35. "President gives assent to J&K reorganisation legislation, 2 UTs to come into existence on October 31". India Today. Retrieved 28 April 2020.CS1 maint: extra punctuation (link) CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  6. ^ K. Venkataramanan (5 August 2019), "How the status of Jammu and Kashmir is being changed", The Hindu
  7. ^ "Article 370 and 35(A) revoked: How it would change the face of Kashmir". The Economic Times. 5 August 2019.
  8. ^ S, Kamaljit Kaur; DelhiJune 4, hu New; June 4, 2019UPDATED; Ist, 2019 20:00. "Government planning to redraw Jammu and Kashmir assembly constituency borders: Sources". India Today.CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  9. ^ "Kashmir insurgency". BBC News. Archived from the original on 22 February 2017. Retrieved 21 February 2017.
  10. ^ Jeelani, Mushtaq A. (25 June 2001). "Kashmir: A History Littered With Rigged Elections". Media Monitors Network. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 24 February 2017.
  11. ^ Article 370: What happened with Kashmir and why it matters. BBC (2019-08-06). Retrieved 2019-08-07.
  12. ^ Article 370 Jammu And Kashmir LIVE Updates: "Abuse Of Executive Power," Rahul Gandhi Tweets On Article 370 Removal, NDTV, 6 August 2019.
  13. ^ "After Governor's rule, President's rule comes into force in Jammu and Kashmir". The Economic Times. 20 December 2018. Retrieved 28 April 2020.
  14. ^ Ashiq, Peerzada (2 August 2019). "25,000 more troops being deployed in J&K". The Hindu. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 28 April 2020.
  15. ^ Ratcliffe, Rebecca (6 August 2019). "Kashmir: Pakistan will 'go to any extent' to protect Kashmiris". The Guardian. Retrieved 6 August 2019.
  16. ^ Inside Kashmir's lockdown: 'Even I will pick up a gun', BBC News, 10 August 2019.
  17. ^ "India revokes Kashmir's special status: All the latest updates". aljazeera. Retrieved 10 August 2019.
  18. ^ a b c d e Jammu & Kashmir Reorganisation Bill passed by Rajya Sabha: Key takeaways, The Indian Express, 5 August 2019.
  19. ^ Krishnadas Rajagopal, President’s Order scraps its predecessor and amends Article 370, The Hindu, 5 August 2019.
  20. ^ "PDP MPs tear Constitution, removed from Rajya Sabha". India Today. Delhi. 5 August 2019. Retrieved 6 August 2019.
  21. ^ "Regional parties' support ensures smooth adoption of resolution on Article 370, J&K bifurcation bill". The Times of India. 5 August 2019. Retrieved 6 August 2019.
  22. ^ a b c Already, Rajya Sabha Clears J&K As Union Territory Instead Of State, NDTV, 5 August 2019.
  23. ^ Aug 5, PTI | Updated; 2019; Ist, 23:33. "Regional parties' support ensures smooth adoption of resolution on Article 370, J&K bifurcation bill | India News – Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 6 August 2019.CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  24. ^ Desk, The Hindu Net (6 August 2019). "Parliament Live | Lok Sabha passes Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Bill, Ayes: 370, Noes 70". The Hindu. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 6 August 2019.
  25. ^ "Kashmir LIVE | Lok Sabha passes Bill to bifurcate J&K; revokes Article 370". Deccan Herald. 5 August 2019. Retrieved 6 August 2019.
  26. ^ "Parliament LIVE UPDATES: Bill to divide J&K into two Union Territories passed in Lok Sabha". The Indian Express. 6 August 2019. Retrieved 6 August 2019.
  27. ^ "Article 370 Kashmir Updates: Modi says passage of key bills on J&K a tribute to Sardar Patel, SP Mookerjee and BR Ambedkar". Firstpost. Retrieved 6 August 2019.
  28. ^ Aug 6, PTI | Updated; 2019; Ist, 21:30. "Jammu Kashmir News: Bill to bifurcate J&K, resolution to scrap Article 370 get Parliament nod | India News – Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 6 August 2019.CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  29. ^ http://egazette.nic.in/WriteReadData/2019/210407.pdf
  30. ^ Home Ministry, Jammu-Kashmir and Ladakh Affairs Department (2020). The Gazette Of India. New Delhi: Authority. p. 1.
  31. ^ a b Wani, Riyaz. "India's new domicile law for Jammu & Kashmir is making residents anxious". Quartz India. Retrieved 4 May 2020.
  32. ^ Tripathi, Rahul (4 April 2020). "Centre notifies amendments to the act providing domicile reservation for govt jobs in Jammu & Kashmir". The Economic Times. Retrieved 4 May 2020.
  33. ^ a b Tribune.com.pk (3 April 2020). "Pakistan rejects India's new domicile law for Occupied Kashmir". The Express Tribune. Retrieved 4 May 2020.
  34. ^ a b Rashid, Hakeem Irfan (1 April 2020). "Central government defines domicile for J&K; those who have lived in UT for 15 yrs, registered migrants & students". The Economic Times. Retrieved 4 May 2020.
  35. ^ "'Demographic flooding': India introduces new Kashmir domicile law". www.aljazeera.com. Retrieved 4 May 2020.
  36. ^ Rashid, Hakeem Irfan (2 April 2020). "15 year resident, student for 7 years Kashmir domicile: Centre". The Economic Times. Retrieved 4 May 2020.
  37. ^ "Jammu and Kashmir political parties reject new domicile law". The Week. Retrieved 4 May 2020.
  38. ^ a b Singh, Vijaita (4 April 2020). "Union Home Ministry modifies Jammu & Kashmir domicile order, offers protection to all government posts". The Hindu. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 4 May 2020.
  39. ^ Ashiq, Peerzada (1 April 2020). "Kashmir parties oppose Centre's new domicile law". The Hindu. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 4 May 2020.
  40. ^ "Jammu and Kashmir domicile rules: Centre trying to change demography of UT, claim politcial parties". The New Indian Express. PTI. 19 May 2020. Retrieved 20 May 2020.CS1 maint: others (link)
  41. ^ "Reorganisation of J&K internal affair: India slams China over Kashmir statement". Press Trust of India. 31 October 2019. Retrieved 2 November 2019 – via The Times of India.

External links[edit]