Goodbye from J&K Vidhan Parishad
Law Kumar Mishra
Under the provisions under Section 57 of the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, 2019, the J&K Legislative Council having a strength of 36 members (functional strength much smaller) stands abolished from Thursday, 17 October 2019.
All the J&K legislative Council Members cease to be MLCs with immediate effect. It was one of the selected few states, (including Bihar) having an upper house since 1957. All officers, employees, furnitures, electronic gadgets now return to the Estates and General Administration Departments.
J&K Vidhan Parishad or Council had some distinguished members like Major General, G S Jamwal, Gulchain Singh Charak, a former Lt governor and former AICC general secretary in-charge of Bihar, and Nizamuddin Bhatt, a senior journalist.
I had privilege to cover the J&K Vidhan Parishad proceedings from the Press gallery. The House was too small in size and there was no distinction between the ministers, members, officers and newsmen (then there were no media women). We sat together sharing tables and chairs, note books, questions and answers. It was not a hall, but a big family room. It was like sweet home for us. Sweet memories with good bye from J&K Vidhan Parishad.
The Legislative Council of Jammu and Kashmir stands formally abolished on 17 October 2019 under Section 57 of the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, 2019.
The Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, 2019, Section 57 is as follows:
(1) Notwithstanding anything to the contrary contained in any law, document, judgment, ordinance, rule, regulation or notification, on and from the appointed day, the Legislative Council of the existing State of Jammu and Kashmir shall stand abolished.
(2) On the abolition of the Legislative Council, every member thereof shall ceased to be such member.
(3) All Bills pending in the Legislative Council immediately before the appointed day shall lapse on the abolition of the Council.
The first Legislature of the State was established by the government of the Maharaja Hari Singh in 1934 under Act No. 1 of 1991 (Bikrami), which later came to be known as the Constitution Act of 1934 A.D. The Legislature consisted of (a) the Council, comprising of the Prime Minister and Ministers appointed by him, and (b) the Assembly, known as Prajasabha. Out of seventy five members of the Assembly, thirty were elected from Constituencies and Communities specified in the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly Electoral Regulations while the rest forty two non-elected members included Ministers of His Highness, and officials and persons nominated by him. In 1939, the Maharaja promulgated the Jammu and Kashmir Constitution Act of 1996 (Bilrami) corresponding to 1939 A.D. section 13 of the 1939 Act provided for a Legislature consisting of His Highness and a chamber to be known as Prajasabha.
The Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Council was the upper House of the Jammu and Kashmir State Legislature. Section 46 of the Constitution of Jammu and Kashmir provided that the Legislature for the State shall consist of the Governor and two Houses to be known respectively as the Legislative Assembly and the Legislative Council.
Veteran Journalist Law Kumar Mishra