JAMMU, Aug 11: JKNPP chairman and former Minister Harsh Dev today said that the Legislative Assembly had technically ceased to exist in the State of J&K as it failed to meet for transacting the legislative business during the last six months in terms of the mandate of Section 53 (1) of State Constitution.
“Section 53 (1) of State Constitution defining the powers of Governor to summon the sessions of legislature and dissolution of Assembly categorically provides that gap between two sessions can’t exceed six months in any case. The existing Assembly in J&K having failed to hold session during the last six months, the provisions of sec 53 (1) automatically get attracted thus leading to dissolution of Assembly by efflux of time, he said while addressing a press conference, here today..
It may be recalled that last sitting of the Budget session was held on Feb 12, 2018 and next session of the legislature was ought to have been convened by August 11, 2018 which has not been done.
Refuting the argument advanced by certain quarters that Assembly had met on May 20 to hold the election of Speaker, Harsh Dev Singh pointed out that the said meeting does not satisfy the requirement of Section 53 (1) of the Constitution. He pointed out that sessions of legislature are to be summoned by the Governor under powers conferred upon him by Section 53 of the State Constitution. He revealed that the order for election of Speaker was not issued under Section 53 of the Constitution but under Rule 9 (1) of the “Rules of procedure and conduct of Business” only for the purpose of holding the election of Speaker.
Therefore, he added, being amply clear that the House not having been summoned under Section 53 of the Constitution for transacting business during the last six months, the legislative Assembly has ceased to exist with members thereof losing all rights and privileges including their entitlements for salary and other emoluments which they continued to receive during the period of suspension.
Harsh Dev Singh urged upon the Governor to fulfil the Constitutional obligation of formally announcing the dissolution of the House.
Gagan Partap Singh, State Secretary JKNPP, was also present in the press conference.