President of India likely to promulgate ordinance for reservation to Jammu border residents

President of India likely to promulgate ordinance for reservation to Jammu border residents

Can invoke section 91 of J&K’s constitution: officials

In a first during direct central rule of Jammu and Kashmir, the President of India is likely to promulgate an ordinance to amend an existing law of the state about reservation, officials said.

An official told Greater Kashmir the state government was approaching the Government of India for promulgating an ordinance to pave way for granting reservation to people living near the International Border in Jammu province.

“This is for the first time when ordinance route is being taken during President’s rule in the state,” the official said.

On Wednesday, the State Administrative Council had approved draft amendments in the Jammu and Kashmir Reservation Act to provide reservation in government jobs and admissions for border residents living along the international border in Jammu province at par with those living along the Line of Control in Kashmir valley and Poonch and Rajouri districts.

The reservation for people living in vicinity of IB in Jammu, Samba and Kathua district has been on the election manifesto of ruling Bharatiya Janta Party.

On Wednesday, the State Administrative Council had approved draft amendments in the Jammu and Kashmir Reservation Act to provide reservation in government jobs and admissions for border residents living along the international border in Jammu province at par with those living along the Line of Control in Kashmir valley and Poonch and Rajouri districts.

Granting reservation to people living in the vicinity of international border in Jammu, Samba and Kathua district has been on the election manifesto of the ruling Bharatiya Janta Party.

Previously, law-making proposals during President’s rule in the state were either cleared by the parliament itself or by authorizing the President to do so.

Presently, the parliament has not authorised the President to exercise powers of the state legislature as was done in 1992 by enacting “The Jammu and Kashmir State Legislature Delegation of Powers Act”.

The laws or amendments enacted by the President after powers of the state legislature are conferred upon him by the parliament are known as “President’s Acts” and their nature is quite different from ordinances.

“It is a fact that the powers of J&K legislature are currently vested with the parliament. But the President has the power to issue ordinance under section 91 of J&K constitution when the state is under President’s rule,” another official said, declining to be named, and added that the section 91 empowers the state’s Governor to promulgate an ordinance when the state legislature is in recess.

“The Presidential proclamation issued on December 19 clearly mentions that the reference to the Governor and state Assembly in Section 91 shall be respectively construed as reference to the President and the Parliament. So the President can promulgate ordinance during direct central rule in the state.

The official said the move to request the Centre to promulgate the ordinance comes as the parliament is not in session.

“The parliament won’t meet before the next government is formed at the Centre,” he said.