HC issues notice to Centre, administration on plea challenging J-K’s domicile law

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The Jammu and Kashmir High Court on Tuesday issued a notice to the Government of India and administration of Union Territory of J-K on a plea challenging domicile job law enacted by the Ministry of Home Affairs on the grounds that “it violates the constitution of India”.

In the petition, the petitioners-Najmul Huda, a lawyer from union territory of Ladakh Nishant Khatri and Sachin Miglani, both residents of Haryana, have challenged the section 3A, 5A, 6, 7 and 8 of Jammu and Kashmir Civil Services (Decentralization and Recruitment) Act, 2010, on the ground that the same are violative of Article 14, 16, 19 and 21 of the Constitution of India.

On 31 March, the Centre made changes in Jammu and Kashmir Civil Services (Decentralization and Recruitment) Act, 2010 through an executive order by invoking section 96 of Jammu and Kashmir Re-Organisation Act.

The provision empowers Centre to make changes in laws to facilitate their application to J-K Union Territory.

Under the amendments, jobs in J-K were reserved for its domiciles which also non-permanent residents living in the UT for 15 years and children of central government employees serving in J-K for 10 years.

In the petition, the petitioners have contended that the Parliament has never delegated the law- making power of Article 16(3) of Constitution to the Central Government under Section 96 of Jammu and Kashmir Reorganization Act, 2019.

They have also submitted that said that power delegated under Section 96 was only for the purpose of facilitating the applications of already prevailing law in former State of Jammu and Kashmir or to make laws applicable to new Union Territories of J & K and Ladakh.

The petitioners further contended that every modification or adaptation of any law shall be done in that reference only and not beyond.

The petitioners have also submitted that the power delegated under section 96 shall not be in any manner construed as the delegation of parliamentary power of Article 16(3) of Constitution of India—(KNO)

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