Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation (Amendment) Bill, 2023

Context
The Home Ministry has tabled Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation (Amendment) Bill, 2023 in the Lok Sabha to nominate two members from the “Kashmiri Migrants” community. Highlights of the Bill:
  • The Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation (Amendment) Bill, 2023 provides for the following, namely:
    • to insert new sections 15A and 15B in the Act so as to nominate not more than two members, one of whom shall be a woman, from the community of Kashmiri Migrants, and one member from Displaced Persons from Pakistan occupied Jammu and Kashmir, to the Legislative Assembly of the Union territory of Jammu and Kashmir
    • amendments to sub-sections (3) and (10) of section 14 of the Act which are of consequential in view of completion of delimitation process in the Union territory of Jammu and Kashmir,” according to the statement of objects and reasons.
  • Objective: The Bill aims “to preserve their political rights” and “overall social and economic development.”
Significance of the Bill:
  • In the wake of the 1947 Pakistani aggression, 31,779 families migrated from Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.
  • Further, during the wars of 1965 and 1971, 10,065 more families were displaced from the Chhamb Niabat area.
  • As such, a total of 41,844 families were displaced during 1947-48, 1965 and 1971 wars with Pakistan.
  • The Families who migrated were forced to leave their ancestral places of residence in the Kashmir province, particularly for community of the Kashmiri Hindus and Pandits.
  • The Delimitation Commission has received many representations from these communities regarding reservation of seats in the Legislative Assembly to preserve their political rights and identity.
  • So, to address the stance of these people, the bill is of importance.
Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Bill 2019:
  • The Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Bill, 2019 provides for reorganisation of the state of Jammu and Kashmir into the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir and Union Territory of Ladakh.
  • The Bill provides for a Legislative Assembly for the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir.  The total number of seats in the Assembly will be 107.
  • Of these, 24 seats will remain vacant on account of certain areas of Jammu and Kashmir being under the occupation of Pakistan. 
  • Further, seats will be reserved in the Assembly for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes in proportion to their population in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir.
  • In addition, the Lieutenant Governor may nominate two members to the Legislative Assembly to give representation to women, if they are not adequately represented.
  • The Assembly will have a term of five years, and the Lieutenant Governor must summon the Assembly at least once in six months.
  • The Legislative Assembly may make laws for any part of the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir related to:
    • Any matters specified in the State List of the Constitution, except “Police” and “Public Order”, and
    • 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.

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