Jammu and Kashmir to be the Union Territory
The State of Jammu and Kashmir have been divided into two Union Territories, i.e. the Union Territory of Jammu & Kashmir and the Union Territory of Ladakh. The Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, 2019 has come into effect and therefore from October 31st, 2019, the bifurcation of the State of J&K.
The Act was passed keeping in mind the measures which would arise after the Article 370 of the Constitution of India was revoked.
Some of the important changes that have occurred because of this separation are:
- One of the major modification that has taken place is omitting the words “except the State of Jammu and Kashmir” from all the State laws. Now, the various personal laws such as the Indian Penal Code 1860, Criminal Procedure Code 1973, Indian Evidence Act 1872, Indian Contract Act 1872, etc apply to newly formed Union Territories also. Similarly, the Ranbir Penal Code, the J&K Evidence Act, the Civil Procedure Code and Criminal Procedure Code of the State of Jammu and Kashmir have been repealed.
- The second most important thing which needs to be taken in record is the working of the Judiciary. The High Court of Jammu and Kashmir will continue to the High Court for both the Union Territories. The existing judges shall be deemed to be the judges of the new High Court.
- Both the Union Territories will be administered by the President with the help of the administrator that will be known as Lieutenant Governor. The newly appointed Lieutenant-Governor is Girish Chandra Murmu and R K Mathur for the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh respectively.
- The Jammu and Kashmir Goods and Services Tax Act 2017 shall be applicable to the Union Territory of Jammu & Kashmir and the Union Territory Goods and Services Tax Act, 2017 shall be applicable to the Union Territory of Ladakh.
- Any person that has taken oath under the Constitution of Jammu and Kashmir before passing such a decision shall be deemed to be taken such oath Constitution of India or any other law applicable to the Union Territories. Therefore, the person will continue to be in the same position after the formation of the new Union Territories.
- The consolidated fund of Jammu and Kashmir has been created to carry out the expenses of the Union Territory, but no such provision has been made till now for the expenditure of the Union Territory of Ladakh.