Decks cleared for Prez Ordinance on quota to poor, reservation in promotions

Nishikant Khajuria
JAMMU, Feb 15: Decks have been cleared for Presidential Ordinance on 10 percent quota to economically weaker sections among the general category in Jammu & Kashmir and also reservation in promotions for SC/STs as the State Administrative Council is learnt to have approved the draft proposal in this regard.
The State Administrative Council (SAC), headed by Governor Satya Pal Malik, has given its nod for seeking Presidential Ordinance to extend 124th Amendment of the Indian Constitution to J&K State, official sources told the Excelsior.
Besides the 124th Amendment , sources said that the SAC has also approved extending 77th and 81st Amendments of the Indian Constitution to the State Constitution for facilitating reservation in promotion in J&K under Section 16 (4A) and 16 (B).
After approval of the SAC in its meeting on Wednesday evening, the draft proposal is being forwarded to the President of India for issuance of an Ordinance after consultation with the Union Cabinet, sources added.
Pertinent to mention that the reservation, meant for individuals belonging to economically-weaker sections among general category, whose annual earning is below Rs 8 lakh and who possess less than 5 acres of agriculture land, was recently implemented by the Government of India across the country, except Jammu and Kashmir State, after passage of 124th Constitutional Amendment Bill by the Parliament and subsequent approval of the same by President of India, last month.
Further, the reservation in promotions was struck down by the High Court of J&K in its judgement dated October 9, 2015 as 77th Amendment of Indian Constitution has not been extended to the State even as the matter is now sub-judice at the Supreme Court, which has pronounced ‘Status quo’ on the same.
In Jammu and Kashmir, reservation for the reserved categories is governed by J&K Reservation Act 2004 and rules 2005, passed by the State Legislature under special powers bestowed in view of Article 35-A, Article 370 of Constitution of India and Article 49 of the J&K Constitution.
All over India, reservation in education and employment is governed by Article 16 (4A) and 16 (4B) of Constitution of India. Article 16 (4A) and 16 (4B) were incorporated in the Indian Constitution through 77th and 81st amendments, which are not yet extended to the State of J&K, either through Presidential Order or adoption thorough State Legislature.
While the top level discussions were on for extending 124th Constitutional amendment to provide reservation for economically weaker among general category in the State through a Presidential Ordinance in the absence of a popular Government here, sources said that some organizations representing the reserved categories in J&K, approached the BJP leadership with a plea that the said amendment should not be extended to the isolation.
Before extending Article 16 (4C) for reservation to poor among general category, Article 16 (4A) and 16 (4B), which deal with reservation in promotions in favour of SC/ST and filling up the reservation backlog, also need to be incorporated in the State Constitution, they had opined.
As the BJP felt it was right time to win over SC/STs and unreserved categories in a one go, the party constituted a five-member committee , comprising Sunil Sethi, Sat Sharma, Bali Bhagat, Dr D K Manyal and Narinder Singh to deliberate upon the issue for necessary action in this regard.
After thorough deliberations, sources said that the BJP conveyed its willingness to the Governor’s administration for getting Article 16- 4 (A), (B) and (C) extended to J&K in a one go via Presidential Ordinance before imposition of Model Code of Conduct ahead of forthcoming Lok Sabha elections.
Following approval of the SAC, sources said that the draft proposal is being forwarded to the President of India, who is likely to issue an Ordinance on simultaneously extending Article 16 -4 (A), (B) and (C) of the Indian Constitution to J&K by next week.