April 2020 News

Perks Of Former JK CMs Withdrawn

1 April 2020

New Delhi: Former Jammu and Kashmir chief ministers have lost all perks after the government of India repealed or amended 138 legislations of the erstwhile state. According to a gazette notification on Wednesday, the government amended the Jammu and Kashmir State Legislature Members' Pension Act and increased the pension amount to Rs 75,000 per month from Rs 50,000. Section 3-C of the act, under which former chief ministers of Jammu and Kashmir were entitled to various privileges and perks, has now been omitted. With this amendment, the former chief ministers would not be entitled for rent-free furnished accommodation, expenditure to the limit of Rs 35,000 per annum for furnishing of the residential accommodation, free telephone calls up to the value of Rs 48,000 per annum, free electricity to the extent of Rs 1,500 per month, car, petrol, medical facilities, driver and personal assistant. The provisions were made through a gazette notification, titled the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganization (Adaptation of State Laws) Order-2020. Four former chief ministers of the erstwhile state - Farooq Abdullah, Ghulam Nabi Azad, Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti - are alive and all of them are central government protectees. The Centre also amended the Special Security Group which mans the security of the chief minister and former chief ministers. Under the new law no security would be provided to family members of serving chief ministers. At present there is no chief minister after the state was bifurcated into two union territories - Ladakh and Jammu and Kashmir. While Ladakh will be directly ruled from the Centre, JK is a UT with legislature. Jammu and Kashmir Ministers' and Ministers of State Salaries Act was also amended by the government and salaries paid to the chief minister and council of ministers would not be taxable. The Jammu and Kashmir Ministers' and Presiding Officers' Medical Facility Act, under which free medical care was provided to ministers, has been repealed. Amending the Jammu and Kashmir Migrant Immoveable Property (Preservation, Protection and Restraint on Distress Sales) Act, the government inserted a paragraph whereby it asked 'competent authorities' shall prepare the details of irremovable property of migrants in a prescribed format and 'take appropriate action to evict unauthorised occupant of such migrant property including such action as provided in section 5' of the act. Section 5 says that if any unauthorised occupant of any migrant property refuses or fails to surrender possession, the competent authority may use force for taking possession. The government on Wednesday issued a gazette notification announcing a slew of amendments to 138 Acts of Jammu and Kashmir that included protecting jobs up to Group-4 for only those who are domicile of the union territory. The notification said among the laws amended is the Jammu and Kashmir Civil Services (Decentralisation and Recruitment) Act. The government has inserted a clause for domicile category under which a person has to stay in the Union Territory for a period of 15 years. Children of all-India services personnel who have served there for 10 years also come under the category. The law now says that no person shall be eligible for appointment to a post carrying a pay scale of not more than Group-4 (Rs 25,500) unless he is a domicile of the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir. Group-4 is equivalent to the rank of constable in police parlance. As many as 28 of the 138 Acts have been repealed as the government laid down a procedure for being a domicile of the Union Territory, which came into existence on October 31, 2019, after the Centre abrogated special status to the erstwhile state and bifurcated it into UTs of Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh. According to the procedure, anyone who has resided for 15 years in Jammu and Kashmir or has studied for seven years and appeared in Class 10 and Class 12 examinations in an educational institution located in the Union Territory is a domicile. Anyone who is registered as a migrant by the Relief and Rehabilitation Commissioner (Migrants) will also be deemed to be a domicile. The others who can be deemed to be a domicile include children of those central government officials, all- India services officers, officials of public sector undertakings and autonomous bodies of the central government, public sector banks, officials of statutory bodies, central university officials and those of recognised research institutes of the central government who have served in Jammu and Kashmir for 10 years. Children of those who fulfil any of the conditions or children of such residents of Jammu and Kashmir as reside outside Union Territory in connection with their employment or business or other professional or vocational reasons but their parents fulfil any of the conditions provided in sub-section, the notification said.