Today, the Lok Sabha introduced two bills that amend crucial laws in Jammu and Kashmir. These bills, the Jammu and Kashmir Reservation (Amendment) Bill, 2023, and the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation (Amendment) Bill, 2023, were initially presented to Parliament in July of this year.
The Jammu and Kashmir Reservation (Amendment) Bill, 2023 alters the Jammu and Kashmir Reservation Act, 2004, which oversees reservations in job placements and admissions to professional institutions for scheduled castes, scheduled tribes, and socially and educationally backward classes. Notable changes involve substituting the term "weak and underprivileged classes" with "other backward classes" as designated by the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir. Additionally, the bill removes the original definition of weak and underprivileged classes.
The Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation (Amendment) Bill, 2023 modifies the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, 2019, which oversaw the restructuring of the former state into the union territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh. This bill proposes an increase in the total seats within the Jammu and Kashmir legislative assembly, expanding it from 83 to 90. Among these, seven seats would be earmarked for scheduled caste members, and nine seats would be reserved for legislators from scheduled tribes.
Additional provisions in the bill empower the lieutenant governor to nominate up to two members from the Kashmiri migrant community to the legislative assembly, with one of the nominees being a woman. Furthermore, the bill allows for the nomination of one member representing displaced persons from Pakistan-occupied Jammu and Kashmir.
During the second day of the parliamentary debate, Union Home Minister Amit Shah reportedly emphasized that the 'naya Kashmir' brought forth by the Jammu and Kashmir Reservation (Amendment) Bill, 2023, and the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation (Amendment) Bill, 2023, aims to deliver justice to those who have been deprived of their rights for the past 70 years.
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