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Lok Sabha passes bills for reservation in legislative assembly, education, jobs in Jammu & Kashmir

 Lok Sabha passes bills for reservation in legislative assembly, education, jobs in Jammu & Kashmir



The Lok Sabha on Tuesday passed the Jammu and Kashmir Reservation (Amendment) Bill, 2023 and the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation (Amendment) Bill, 2023.


The Bills introduced on July 26 in the lower house of the parliament seek to implement reservations in the legislative assembly, jobs and professional institutes of the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir.


The Jammu and Kashmir Reservation (Amendment) Bill, 2023 amends the Jammu and Kashmir Reservation Act, 2004 for reservation in jobs and admission to professional institutions to members of Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, and other socially and educationally backward classes.


Under the 2004 Act, 'other socially and educationally backwards classes' include people residing in villages declared as socially and educationally backward by J&K, people residing in areas adjoining the Line of Actual Control (LAC) and the international border and weak and under-privileged classes (social castes) as notified by the government.


The Bill substitutes 'weak and under-privileged classes' with 'other backward classes as such by the Government from time to time' and deletes the definition of weak and under-privileged classes.


The Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation (Amendment) Bill, 2023 amends the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, 2019.


The Act of 2019 specified the number of seats in the Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) Legislative Assembly to be 83 (excluding seats designated for areas falling in Pakistan-occupied Jammu and Kashmir), with 6 of those seats reserved for Scheduled Castes (SCs), but none for Scheduled Tribes (STs).


The Bill increases the total number of seats to 90 while reserving 7 seats for SCs and 9 seats for STs.


It further enables the Lieutenant Governor (LG) of J&K to nominate up to two members from the Kashmiri migrant community to the assembly. Of these, one must be a woman.


Under the proposed legislation, migrants are defined as persons who migrated from the Kashmir valley or any other part of the state of Jammu and Kashmir after November 1, 1989, and are registered with the Relief Commissioner.  


Migrants also include individuals who have not been registered due to:


(i) being in government service in any moving office,


(ii) having left for work, or


(iii) possessing immovable property at the place from where they migrated but are unable to reside there due to disturbed conditions.


Additionally, the Bill enables the LG to nominate to the Assembly one member to represent displaced persons from Pakistan-occupied Jammu and Kashmir, as long the the displacement took place in 1947-48, 1965 or 1971.


Addressing the Parliament, Union Home Minister Amit Shah expressed his appreciation for the fact that the majority of MPs were generally unopposed to the Bills.


"This bill is for those who have been oppressed in the past 70 years. This will give them justice and rights," Shah added. [Source :Bar and Banchs)] 

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