May 2019 News

HC Serves Notice After NC Challenges Constitutional Amendments

8 May 2019
Kashmir Reader
Nusrat Sidiq

Srinagar: The J&K High Court on Wednesday issued notice to the central and state governments to file their response to a petition challenging Amendments made to the Jammu & Kashmir Reservation (Amendment) Ordinance Act, 2019, and the Constitution (Application to Jammu & Kashmir) Amendment Order, 2019. National Conference (NC) general secretary Ali Mohammad Sagar had moved before the court, through counsel Aijaz Ahmed Chisti, a petition seeking directions from the court to declare the amendments orders as unconstitutional and to quash them. He had further prayed that the respondents be directed not to give effect to these amendments. The court of Justice Tashi Rabstan issued notice to the Union of India through Ministry of Home Affairs (Department of J&K Affairs) New Delhi, Ministry of Law & Justice (Legislature Department), New Delhi, the Union Cabinet through Cabinet Secretary New Delhi, and to State of J&K through Chief Secretary, Civil Secretariat Srinagar-Jammu. The court directed the respondents to file their response by or before next date of hearing. The petition stated that the President of India, after having issued Proclamation under Article 370 of the Constitution of India, had no power to amend J&K Reservation Act, 2004, which is a State Act, by issuing an Ordinance. It further stated that whenever President's rule is declared under Article 356 of the Constitution of India, the functions of the State Government vest with the President and the power of Legislature, that is the power to make or amend laws, vests with the Parliament. 'It is only the Parliament which can make or amend any law during the President's rule,' the petition stated. The petition also clarified that under Article 357, a mechanism is provided for Parliament to delegate its power to the President. It would, however, require the Parliament to pass an Act delegating such power to the President. The petition mentioned that in 1992, when the J&K State was under President's rule, Parliament passed J&K State Legislature (Delegation of Powers) Act, 1992, pursuant to which the President made an amendment in J&K Public Safety Act, which meant that the President had no power on his own to amend a State Law.