Cabinet clears IB reservations
Nod to fresh triple talaq bill
NEW DELHI, June 12:
The Union Cabinet today approved extension of President’s rule in Jammu and Kashmir for six more months beginning July 3, Union Minister Prakash Javadekar said.
A meeting of the Union Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, decided that Central rule, which has been continuing in Jammu and Kashmir since June 20, 2018, will remain for six months.
“Yes, it has been decided,” Javadekar told reporters when asked whether the Cabinet gave its nod to extend President’s rule in Jammu and Kashmir.
An official statement said based on the prevailing situation in the State as stated in the report of Governor of Jammu and Kashmir, the Union Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister has approved the extension of President’s Rule in Jammu and Kashmir for a further period of six months with effect from July 3, 2019, under article 356(4) of the Constitution of India.
This is likely to be the last extension of the central rule in the State as the Election Commission had issued a statement recently stating that elections in Jammu and Kashmir would be announced after the annual Amarnath Yatra beginning on July 1.
The present term of President’s rule is expiring on July 2 and the Governor has recommended that the President rule in the State may be extended for a further period of six months with effect from July 3, the statement said.
A resolution seeking approval of the Parliament for the extension of the Central rule in Jammu and Kashmir will be moved in both Houses of Parliament during the forthcoming session.
The Governor’s rule in Jammu and Kashmir was imposed initially on June 20, 2018 and the State Assembly was kept in suspended animation after the State plunged into a political crisis when the Mehbooba Mufti-led coalition Government was reduced to minority following withdrawal of support by the 25-member BJP in the State.
Under Section 92 of the Constitution of Jammu and Kashmir, there is no provision for further continuation of Governor’s rule after six months. Hence, on the recommendation of Governor and having regard to the prevailing situation in the state, the President’s rule was imposed on December 20, 2018.
Subsequently, a resolution approving the President’s rule was passed in the Lok Sabha on December 28, 2018 and in the Rajya Sabha on January 3, 2019.
Meanwhile, People living along the India-Pakistan international border (IB) in Jammu and Kashmir will get the benefits of reservation in direct recruitment, promotion and admission in different professional courses, at par with those living along the Actual Line of Control (ALoC).
The decision was taken at a meeting of the Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi here today.
In keeping with its pro-people initiatives and especially for those at the last mile of development, the Union Cabinet cleared the decks for approval of the Jammu and Kashmir Reservation (Amendment) Bill, 2019, which will be introduced in the forthcoming session of Parliament, according to an official statement.
“The Cabinet decision is a reflection of Prime Minister Modi’s vision of a pro-people Government committed to Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikaas and Sabka Vishwas,” the statement said.
The move will go a long way in providing relief to the people living in areas adjoining the International Border in Jammu and Kashmir.
They can now avail the benefits of reservation in direct recruitment, promotion and admission in different professional courses, the statement said.
The Bill will replace the Jammu and Kashmir Reservation (Amendment) Ordinance, 2019 through amendments in the Jammu and Kashmir Reservation Act, 2004 and bringing the persons residing in areas adjoining the IB within the ambit of reservation, at par with those living in areas adjoining the ALoC.
The people living in areas adjoining the IB in Jammu and Kashmir were not included in the ambit of the Jammu and Kashmir Reservation Act, 2004 and Rules, 2005.
The rules provided for reservation in direct recruitment, promotions and admission in different professional courses to various categories, including the residents of areas adjoining the ALoC. Thus, those living in areas adjoining the IB in Jammu and Kashmir were not getting these benefits for a long time.
Due to continuous cross-border tensions, persons living along the IB suffer from socio-economic and educational backwardness. Shelling from across the border often compels these residents to move to safer places, which adversely impacts their education as schools and colleges remain closed for long periods.
Hence, it was felt justifiable to extend the reservation benefits to persons residing in the areas adjoining the IB, on the lines of those living in areas adjoining the ALoC.
Since Jammu and Kashmir is currently under the President’s Rule, the powers of the State Assembly are vested with Parliament and hence, it was decided to replace the Jammu and Kashmir Reservation (Amendment) Ordinance, 2019 with the Bill to be placed in both the Houses of Parliament.
The Cabinet also cleared a fresh bill to ban the practice of instant triple talaq, Javadekar said.
The bill will be introduced in the Budget session of Parliament which begins on Monday to replace an ordinance issued in February by the previous BJP-led NDA Government.
With the dissolution of the 16th Lok Sabha last month, the previous bill had lapsed as it was pending in Rajya Sabha.
The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, which made the practice of instant triple talaq (talaq-e-biddat) a penal offence, had faced objections from the opposition parties which claimed that jail term for a man for divorcing his wife was legally untenable.
Javadekar said the proposed legislation is based on gender equality and is part of the government’s philosophy of ‘SabkaSaath, Sabka Vikas, Sabka Vishwas’ .
The new bill will be a copy of the ordinance in force and the minister hoped that it will be passed “unanimously” by Rajya Sabha, where the government lacks numbers.
Bills that are introduced in Rajya Sabha and are pending there do not lapse with the dissolution of Lok Sabha.
However, bills passed by Lok Sabha and pending in Rajya Sabha lapse with the dissolution of the lower house.
The Government had promulgated the ordinance on triple talaq twice — in September 2018 and in February 2019 –. as the contentious bill remained pending in Rajya Sabha, though it was passed by Lok Sabha. (PTI)