JK Public Property (Prevention of Damages) Act 1985 amendment bill referred to HSC

KT NEWS SERVICE. Dated: 2/11/2018 8:52:34 AM

Panchayati Raj act amendment bill passed; opposition stages walkout

JAMMU, Feb 10: Buckling under opposition pressure, the government Saturday sent the controversial Bill to amend “Jammu and Kashmir Public Property (Prevention of Damages) Act 1985” to the House Select Committee (HSC), which was even opposed by PDP MLA Shopian Mohammed Yousuf Bhat.

It (government), however, managed to pass J&K Panchayati Raj Act-1989 amendment Bill in the absence of opposition as both Congress and National Conference staged a walkout, though separately, after protesting amid sloganeering in the House while opposing the Bill. Interestingly, one of the coalition partners BJP, provoked by opposition, also opposed it.

BJP MLA from Kathua Rajiv Jasrotia opposed the bill which however was passed through voice vote.

As the “Jammu and Kashmir Public Property (Prevention of Damages) Act 1985” amendment Bill was introduced in the House by Minister for Parliamentary Affairs, Abdul Rehman Veeri, on behalf of the Chief Minister, legislators Ali Mohammed Sagar, Mohammed Yousuf Tarigami, Nawang Rigzin Jora, Mian Altaf Ahmad, Hakeem Mohammed Yasin, Mohammed Yousuf Bhat, Altaf Ahmad Wani and others opposed it. They demanded that it should be referred to the select committee for further discussion.

Responding to the concern of the Legislators, the Minister for Parliamentary Affairs announced that the Bill would be referred to the House Select Committee.

In second case, while explaining the reasons to amend the Jammu and Kashmir Panchayati Raj Act, 1989,

the Minister for Rural Development, Panchayati Raj, Law and Justice Abdul Haq said that government was contemplating to conduct the elections to the Panchayati Raj institutions shortly as the elections could not be held in the year 2016 due to obvious law and order/security situation in the Kashmir Valley.

He said the State Election Commission which has been empowered inter alia to determine and delimit the Halqa Panchayats in terms of the Act could not be constituted due to various reasons and in view of the population census, 2011 and the delimitation of various Administrative Units, there is a requirement of determining and delimiting the Halqa Panchayats in the State for which power lies with the State Election Commission which is not in place. “Accordingly, a need had arisen to amend the Jammu and Kashmir Panchayati Raj Act, 1989 so that the desired object could be achieved”.

He said The bill seeks to amend the Act to provide that till the State Election Commission is constituted under the Act, the superintendence, direction and control of the preparation of electoral rolls for and the conduct of, all elections as well as the powers to delimit and determine the Halqa Panchayats in accordance with this Act shall vest in the Chief Electoral Officer.

Legislators Ali Mohammad Sagar, Mubarak Gul, Nawang Rigzin Jora, Rajiv Jasrotia, GM Saroori participated in the debate and suggested constitution of a joint Select Committee to examine the amendment bill while Shah Mohammad Tantray supported the bill. Congress targeted BJP for supporting the bill which it said, was contradictory to its (BJP’s) “ideological stand of strengthening of Panchayati Raj.

However the house passed the bill through voice vote and the amendments given by Ali Mohammad Sagar where rejected by the House.



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