Last Updated: Feb 09, 2024
The Rajya Sabha has taken up the Jammu and Kashmir Local Bodies Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2024, the Constitution (Jammu and Kashmir) Scheduled Caste Order (Amendment) Bill 2023 and the Constitution (Jammu and Kashmir) Scheduled Tribes Order (Amendment) Bill, 2023 for consideration and passing. The Jammu and Kashmir Local Bodies Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2024, seeks to amend certain provisions of the Jammu and Kashmir Panchayati Raj Act, 1989, the Jammu and Kashmir Municipal Act, 2000, and the Jammu and Kashmir Municipal Corporation Act, 2000. The legislation is intended to provide reservation to the Other Backward Classes in the Panchayats and the Municipalities in Jammu and Kashmir and to bring consistency in the local body laws of the Union Territory with the provisions of the Constitution. Moving the bill, Minister of State for Home Nityanand Rai said the Bill is aimed at providing justice to the people from Other Backward Classes community of Jammu and Kashmir. He said, as per the Constitution the power to conduct local body polls should be with the State Election Commission. However, currently in J&K, it is with the Chief Electoral Officer as per the existing laws. He added that under the provisions of the bill, this power will now be with the State Election Commission of J&K.
The Constitution (Jammu and Kashmir) Scheduled Caste Order (Amendment) Bill adds the Valmiki community as a synonym of the Chura, Balmiki, Bhangi, and Mehtar communities. Social Justice and Empowerment Minister Dr Virendra Kumar moved the Bill.
The Constitution (Jammu and Kashmir) Scheduled Tribes Order (Amendment) Bill seeks to revise the list of Scheduled Tribes in J&K to include the Pahari community. Union Tribal Affairs Minister Arjun Munda moved the bill to the Upper House. The discussion on the three bills is underway.