The Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation (Amendment) Bill, 2021 was introduced in Rajya Sabha on February 4, 2021. It amends the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, 2019. The Act provides for the bifurcation of the state of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) into the Union Territory of J&K and Union Territory of Ladakh. The Bill repeals the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation (Amendment) Ordinance, 2021. Key features of the Bill include:
- Application of provisions on elected legislatures: The Act provides that Article 239A of the Constitution, which is applicable to the union territory of Puducherry, shall also apply to the union territory of J&K. Article 239A provides for the constitution of a union territory of Puducherry with: (i) a legislature, which may be elected, or partly nominated and partly elected, or (ii) a Council of Minister.
- The Bill states that in addition to Article 239A, any other provision of the Constitution which refers to elected members of a legislative assembly of a state and is also applicable to the union territory of Puducherry, will apply to the union territory of J&K.
- Merging of administrative cadres: The Act specifies that the members of the Indian Administrative Service, the Indian Police Service and the Indian Forest Service serving in the state of J&K would continue to serve in the two union territories, based on allocation decided by the central government. Further, in future, postings of officers in the two union territories would be from the Arunachal Goa Mizoram Union Territory (AGMUT) cadre. The AGMUT cadre covers the three states of Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram and Goa, as well as all the union territories.
- The Bill amends these clauses to provide for the merger of the officers in the existing cadre of J&K with the AGMUT cadre.