Govt issues winding up orders, entire staff repatriated
National Commissions to have jurisdiction over both UTs
JAMMU, Oct 23: In a major development related to bifurcation of State into two Union Territories, Government has ordered winding up of seven main State Commissions as the Acts whereby these statutory bodies were established have been repealed by the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganization Act passed by the Parliament in the month of August this year.
However, the objectives behind setting up of these State Commissions will be achieved through several National Commissions, which will have jurisdiction over the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir and Union Territory of Ladakh and ensure strict implementation of the provisions of the Central Acts that will be applicable to both the UTs from October 31 onwards.
EXCELSIOR through series of exclusive news-items published soon after the enactment of Jammu and Kashmir Reorganization Act by the Parliament had highlighted that several State Commissions will cease to exist from October 31 onwards and jurisdiction of several National Commissions will get extended to new UTs.
It was further highlighted that the provisions of the Central Act which will be applicable to UTs of J&K and Ladakh are more stringent than the State Laws as such people will be immensely benefitted.
The State Commissions which will not exist from October 31 onwards are J&K State Human Rights Commission, J&K State Information Commission, State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, State Electricity Regulatory Commission, State Commission for Persons with Disabilities, State Commission for Protection of Women and Child Rights and State Accountability Commission.
As per the different orders issued by the General Administration Department, the Chairpersons and Members of these Commissions will cease to hold office with effect from October 31, 2019 and all the staff posted in these Commissions has been directed to report to the concerned Administrative Departments by October 30, 2019.
Moreover, the General Administration Department has directed that the vehicles allotted to or purchased for these Commissions from time to time shall be handed over to the Director, State Motor Garages Department while as buildings housing these Commissions along with furniture and electronic gadgets will be handed over to Director, Estates Department.
The State Human Rights Commission was set up as per the provisions of Jammu and Kashmir Protection of Human Rights Act, 1997 but this Act has now been repealed by the J&K Reorganization Act. From October 31 onwards, the Central law—the Protection of Human Rights Act, 1994 will be applicable and its implementation in both the UTs will be supervised by National Human Rights Commission.
All the record pertaining to SHRC will be transferred to the Department of Law, Justice and Parliament Affairs Department.
Similarly, State Information Commission was established as per the provisions of Jammu and Kashmir Right to Information Act, 2009 and with the repealing of this Act the Commission will not exist anymore. Now, Central RTI Act will be applicable to both the Union Territories and its implementation will be ensured by Central Information Commission.
The Secretary of the State Information Commission has been directed to transfer all record to the General Administration Department.
As J&K Consumer Protection Act, 1987 has also been repealed by the J&K Reorganization Act, State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission will cease to exist from October 31. However, the rights of the consumers in both the UTs will be protected under the Consumer Protection Act enacted by the Parliament in 1986 and its implementation will be ensured by National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission.
The record of the State Commission, as per the order of the General Administration Department, will be transferred to the Department of Food, Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs.
Even orders have been issued for winding up of State Electricity Regulatory Commission consequent upon repeal of J&K State Electricity Act, 2010 as from October 31 onwards the Electricity Act enacted by the Parliament in 2003 will be applicable in both the UTs. The Secretary of the SERC has been directed to transfer all record to the Power Development Department.
As J&K Reorganization Act has also repealed J&K Right of Persons with Disability Act, 2018, the State Commission for Persons with Disabilities will not exist anymore and rights of persons with disabilities will be protected by Chief Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities, a Government of India agency under the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment.
State Commission for Protection of Women and Child Rights will also cease to exist in view of repealing of the State Act. However, the rights of these sections of the society will be protected under the Central Act whose implementation will be ensured by National Commission.
The J&K State Accountability Commission, which was set up as per the provisions of Act enacted by the State Legislature in 2002, will no more exist as this Act also falls in the long list of State Laws repealed by the J&K Reorganization Act.
“The winding up of these seven Commissions will save huge resources and manpower, which can now be utilized in Government departments, PSUs and Corporations”, sources said, adding “almost all these Commissions had virtually stopped functioning ever since the enactment of J&K Reorganization Act by the Parliament”.