The Centre has notified two orders specifying that 11 central laws will immediately come into effect in the union territory of Jammu and Kashmir while nomenclature of 10 state laws will be changed in view of the change of status of the erstwhile state. In a 136-page notification, the home ministry said the two orders will be called as the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation (Adaptation of Central Laws) Second and Third Order, 2020.
The erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir was bifurcated into two union territories - Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh - on August 5, 2019 through the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, 2019. Article 370, which gave special status to the erstwhile state, was also abrogated on that day.
Till then, the central laws were not implemented in Jammu and Kashmir unless they were ratified by the state assembly. Besides, there were many state laws which were exclusively applicable only in Jammu and Kashmir. "In exercise of the powers conferred by section 96 of the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, 2019 (34 of 2019), and of all other powers enabling it in that behalf, the Central Government hereby makes the following Order in respect of the Union territory of Jammu and Kashmir," the notification, signed by Union Home Secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla, said.
Among the central laws which will now come into effect in Jammu and Kashmir are: The Banning of Unregulated Deposit Schemes Act, 2019, The Building and Other Construction Workers (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Service) Act, 1996, The Contract Labour (Regulation and Abolition) Act, 1970, The Factories Act, 1948, The Industrial Disputes Act, 1947 and The Industrial Employment (Standing Orders) Act, 194. Other central laws which will also be applicable in the union territory are: The Motor Transport Workers Act, 1961, The Pharmacy Act, 1948, The Sales Promotion Employees Act, 1976, The Street Vendors (Protection of Livelihood and Regulation of Street Vending) Act, 2014 and The Trade Unions Act, 1926.
The notification said an order has been issued for the change of names and certain words in some of the state laws enacted by the assembly of the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir. "With immediate effect, the acts mentioned in the schedule to this order shall, until repealed or amended by a competent legislature or other competent authority, have effect, subject to the adaptations and modifications directed by the said schedule, or if it is so directed, shall stand repealed.
"Where this order requires that in any specified section or other portion of an Act, certain words shall be substituted for certain other words, or the certain words shall be omitted, such substitution or omission, as the case may be, shall, except where it is otherwise expressly provided, be made wherever the words referred to occur in that section or portion," the notification said. The changes in the state laws were made in the form of - "State" and "Government" substituting respectively "Union territory of Jammu and Kashmir" and "Government of the Union territory of Jammu and Kashmir" and for "whole of the State of Jammu and Kashmir" substituting "whole of the Union territory of Jammu and Kashmir" and a few others issues.
The state laws where the changes were made include: The Jammu and Kashmir Municipal Act, 2000, The Jammu and Kashmir Municipal Corporation Act, 2000, The Jammu and Kashmir School Education Act, 2002, The Jammu and Kashmir Board of School Education Act, 1975, The Jammu and Kashmir Cooperative Societies Act, 1989, The Jammu and Kashmir Self-Reliant Cooperatives Act, 1999 and The Salaries and Allowances of Members of Jammu and Kashmir State Legislature Act, 1960. Other state laws where the changes were made are: The Salary and Allowances of Leaders of Opposition in the State Legislature Act, 1985, The Jammu and Kashmir Goods and Services Tax Act, 2017 and The Jammu and Kashmir Metropolitan Region Development Authorities Act, 2018.
One similar notification was issued by the central government with respect for UT of Jammu and Kashmir a few months ago.