37 Central Laws to be made applicable to Jammu & Kashmir: Union Cabinet

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The Union Cabinet has approved the issuance of an order to make as many as 37 Central Laws applicable to the recently formed Union Territory of Jammu & Kashmir, Bar andBench reported.

A press release issued to this effect yesterday states,“…it is necessary to adapt the Central Laws made under the Concurrent List, with required modifications and amendments, for ensuring administrative effectiveness and smooth transition with respect to the Union territory of Jammu and Kashmir thereby removing any ambiguity in their application in line with the Constitution of India.”

The Central government is empowered under Section 96 of the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, 2019 to make adaptations and modifications to facilitate the implementation of any law applicable to India, to the Union Territory of Jammu & Kashmir.

To “ensure administrative effectiveness” and “remove ambiguity in implementation of these laws”, the Union Cabinet has given the green signal for the issuance of an order to apply the Central Laws to the newly formed Union Territory. As of now, it is unclear as to which Central Laws the government plans to apply to J&K.

On August 5, 2019 the Constitution (Application to Jammu & Kashmir) Order, 2019, was introduced to supersede the Constitution (Application to Jammu & Kashmir) Order, 1954. The 1954 Order had listed out provisions of the Constitution of India that would not apply to Jammu and Kashmir.

In its place, the 2019 Order provided that all provisions of the Constitution of India will apply to the state of Jammu & Kashmir, with a few exceptions and modifications.

Though the power to abrogate or modify Article 370 was conferred on the President under clause (3) of the Article, there was a pre-condition to the same – concurrence by the Constituent Assembly of the State of Jammu & Kashmir. The Constituent Assembly had, however, ceased to exist as far back as in the 1950s.

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