The Lok Sabha today passed the Jammu and Kashmir Reservation (Amendment Bill), 2019. Union Home Minister Amit Shah today morning moved the J&K Reservation (Amendment Bill) in the Lok Sabha and had said that this bill is not to please anyone but for those living near the International Border.
The new bill seeks to replace the existing Jammu and Kashmir Reservation (Amendment) Ordinance, 2019.
The Jammu and Kashmir Reservation (Amendment) Bill, 2019 amends the Jammu and Kashmir Reservation Act, 2004, which provides for reservation in appointment and admission in professional institutions for persons belonging to Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, and socially and educationally backward classes.
The original Act provided for reservation in appointment to state government posts to persons belonging to socially and educationally backward classes. The Act defined socially and educationally backward classes to include persons living in areas adjoining the Actual Line of Control. The amendment will bring changes to the Act to include those persons living in areas adjoining International Border, within the ambit of this reservation making them par with people living near LoC.
Further, the Act states that any person who has been appointed on the basis of residence in an area adjoining the Line of Control must serve in such areas for at least seven years. The new bill extends this condition to persons living in areas adjoining the International Border as well.
The bill is also aimed at replacing the ordinance to provide 10 per cent reservation for economically weaker sections in Jammu and Kashmir. The passing of the bill in parliament will pave the way for reserving state government jobs to the youth of Jammu and Kashmir who are from economically weaker sections belonging to any religion or caste.
The 10 per cent reservation for economically weaker sections was introduced in rest of the country through the 103rd Constitution Amendment in January 2019.
In the run-up to the Lok Sabha elections, BJP President Amit Shah had asserted that the BJP government would scrap Article 370 of the Constitution which allows Jammu and Kashmir to have its own constitution, flag as well as the right to implement its own laws, except on issues that pertain to national security.
Apart from that, the BJP had also emphasised in its manifesto that it will also scrap Article 35 which allows the Jammu and Kashmir legislature to define permanent residents of the state and permits the J-K government to exclude outsiders from owning property and availing the benefits from the government.