Reorganization of JK: Legislative Council abolished after 62 years

Srinagar, Oct 17:  Curtains came down on 62-year-old Legislative Council after Jammu and Kashmir government issued formal orders for its abolition and asked 116-member staff to report to General Administration Department.

 

The order was issued on Wednesday night, less than a fortnight before the state is divided into two union territories –Jammu Kashmir and Ladakh.

Jammu and Kashmir will be a union territory with Legislative Assembly. Ladakh will be a union territory without legislature.

According to the order, the 116-member staff of the council has been asked to report to the General Administration Department (GAD) by October 22.

The Centre had on August 5 abrogated the provisions of Article 370 of the Constitution which granted special status to Jammu and Kashmir.

In his order, Secretary of GAD Farooq Ahmad Lone directed transfer of all vehicles purchased from time to time to the director state motor garages and handing over of the building of the council along with furniture and electronic gadgets to the director estates.

The 36-member state council was established in 1957 after an act was passed by the Parliament. The council functioned was an upper house for the 87-member state assembly.

“Consequent to the abolition of the Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Council in terms of Section 57 of Jammu and Kashmir Reorganization Act, 2019, it is ordered that all the staff of the state legislative council shall report to the GAD by October 22,” the order said.

All records pertaining to the Council Secretariat including related legislative business shall be transferred to the Department of Law, Justice Parliamentary Affairs by the secretary, the order added.

Earlier in February this year, the State Administrative Council (SAC) under the chairmanship of Governor, Satya Pal Malik approved taking up the matter with the Election Commission of India (ECI) regarding the proposal for holding of elections to vacant seats in the J&K Legislative Council.

Explaining importance of the Legislative Council, former Congress MLC GN Monga said the members would discuss important issues in the Legislative Council.

“Like Raj Sabha, Jammu and Kashmir had the Upper House which was called Legislative Council. This House would pass important bills, discuss yearly budget then pass it. Its members would raise public issue and were trying to resolve them,” said Monga.

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