MHA orders adaptation of 43 Central, 55 Laws of erstwhile State in UT of Ladakh

87 legislations enacted by J&K Legislature repealed
*Modifications in many laws for better implementation
Mohinder Verma
JAMMU, Oct 25: More than one year after enactment of J&K Reorganization Act by the Parliament, the Union Ministry of Home Affairs has issued orders for adaptation of 43 Central Laws and 55 Laws of erstwhile State of Jammu and Kashmir in the Union Territory of Ladakh with certain modifications.
However, 87 laws enacted by the Legislature of erstwhile State of Jammu and Kashmir have been repealed in the context of Ladakh Union Territory as the same were relevant for Kashmir and Jammu regions and have no importance in Leh and Kargil districts.
The Union Territory of Ladakh Reorganization (Adaptation of Central Laws) Order and Union Territory of Ladakh Reorganization (Adaptation of State Laws) Order, 2020 have been issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs in exercise of the powers conferred by Section 96 of the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganization Act, 2019. Both these orders will come into force with immediate effect.
“The General Clauses Act, 1897 applies for the interpretation of these orders as it applies for interpretation of laws in force in the territory of India and the repeal or amendment of any law shall not affect the previous operation of any law so repealed or anything done or suffered thereunder”, Union Home Secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla has mentioned in both the orders.
As far as Central Laws , which have been adapted in the Union Territory of Ladakh, are concerned, several amendments have been made in order to ensure their better implementation in Leh and Kargil districts, where the geographical and climatic conditions are altogether different from Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir.
These Central Laws include the Code of Civil Procedure; the Collection of Statistics Act; the Commission of Inquiry Act; the Contract Labour (Regulation and Abolition) Act; the Factories Act; the Homeopathy Central Council Act; the Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act; the Income Tax Act; the Indian Penal Code; the Industrial Employment (Standing Orders) Act; the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code; the Official Languages Act; the Pharmacy Act; the National Cooperative Development Corporation Act; the Press Council Act; the Railway Property (Unlawful Possession) Act; the All India Services Act; the Central Goods and Services Tax Act; the Indian Forest Act; the Protection of Human Rights Act and the Securitisation and Reconstruction of Financial Assets and Enforcement of Security Interests Act.
About 55 laws of erstwhile State of Jammu and Kashmir, which have been adapted in the Union Territory of Ladakh, the amendments generally pertain to destination of officers assigned different tasks under the legislations and substitution of UT of Ladakh wherever the State of J&K exists.
However, certain more amendments have been made so as to ensure better implementation of the same in the Ladakh UT keeping in view its population, Government and commercial establishments. Even amount of fine under certain laws has been changed in the context of Ladakh.
These laws include Ancient Monuments Preservation Act; Brick Kilns (Regulations) Act; Building Operations Act; Cooperative Societies Act; Egress and Internal Movement (Control) Ordinance; Excise Act; Highways Act; Money Lenders and Accredited Loan Provisions Act; Motor Vehicles Taxation Act; Natural Calamities Destroyed Areas Improvement Act; Non-Biodegradable Material (Management, Handling and Disposal) Act; Public Premises (Eviction of Un-authorized Occupants) Act; Public Safety Act; Road Safety Council Act; Town Planning Act; School Education Act; Aerial Ropeways Act; Civil Courts Act; Police Act; Public Services Guarantee Act; Enemy Agents Ordinance and Fire Force Act.
The laws of erstwhile State of Jammu and Kashmir which have been repealed as a whole in the context of Union Territory of Ladakh include Backward Classes Commission Act; Forest Corporation Act; Golf Development and Management Authority Act; Handicrafts (Quality Control) Act; Municipal Corporation Act; Property Tax Board Act; Special Tribunal Act; Forest Protection Force Act; National Law University Act; Board of Professional Entrance Examination Act and Civil Laws Special Provisions Act.
“Majority of the population of Ladakh is tribal as such there is no relevance of Backward Classes Act there”, sources said, adding “similarly, Ladakh has no dense forests so there is no need of having Forest Corporation Act and Forest Protection Force Act”.
Likewise, there are no Municipal bodies in Leh and Kargil districts and Hill Development Councils are looking after all the importance aspects of development as such there is no point in retaining Municipal Corporation Act, sources further said, adding “the J&K National Law University Act has been repealed as a whole for Ladakh UT as there is no scope for such a varsity there”.
Similar aspects have been kept in mind while repealing as a whole all other laws of the erstwhile State of Jammu and Kashmir. Moreover, all the laws pertaining to Legislature and its members have been repealed as Ladakh is the Union Territory without legislature.