The Lok Sabha on December 6 passed the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation (Amendment) Bill, which seeks to nominate two members from the Kashmiri migrant community and one representing the displaced persons from Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) to the legislative assembly.
The Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation (Amendment) Bill, 2023 was introduced in Lok Sabha on July 26, 2023. The Bill was later amended to the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, 2019. The Act provides for the reorganisation of the state of Jammu and Kashmir into the union territories of Jammu and Kashmir (with legislature) and Ladakh (without legislature).
Number of seats in the Legislative Assembly
The Second Schedule of the Representation of the People Act, 1950 provides for the number of seats in legislative assemblies. The 2019 Act amended the Second Schedule of the 1950 Act to specify the total number of seats in the Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Assembly to be 83. It reserved six seats for Scheduled Castes. No seats were reserved for Scheduled Tribes. The Bill increases the total number of seats to 90. It also reserves seven seats for Scheduled Castes and nine seats for Scheduled Tribes.
Nomination of Kashmiri migrants
The Bill adds that the Lieutenant Governor may nominate up to two members from the Kashmiri migrant community to the Legislative Assembly. One of the nominated members must be a woman. Migrants are defined as persons who migrated from the Kashmir Valley or any other part of the state of Jammu and Kashmir after November 1, 1989, and are registered with the Relief Commissioner. Migrants also include individuals who have not been registered due to three reasons — being in government service in any moving office, having left for work, or possessing immovable property at the place from where they migrated but are unable to reside there due to disturbed conditions.
Nomination of displaced persons
The Bill adds that the Lieutenant Governor may nominate to the Legislative Assembly one member representing displaced persons from Pakistan-occupied Jammu and Kashmir. Displaced persons refer to individuals who left or were displaced from their place of residence in Pakistani-occupied Jammu and Kashmir and continue to reside outside such place. Such displacement should have taken place in 1947-48, 1965, or 1971 due to civil disturbances or fear of such disturbances. These include successors-in-interest of such persons.
Jammu and Kashmir Reservation (Amendment) Bill, 2023
The form of reservation in the valley will be changed with the Jammu and Kashmir Reservation (Amendment) Bill, 2023 presented in the Parliament by the government. This bill amends the Jammu and Kashmir Reservation Act, 2004. The Act provides reservation in admission to jobs and professional institutions to members of the Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and other socially and educationally backward classes.