SRINAGAR — After the Supreme Court asked the Centre on Tuesday whether there was a timeframe as to when statehood would be restored to J&K, top sources told IANS that the Centre would soon announce statehood for Jammu and Kashmir.
During Tuesday’s hearing on Article 370 in the apex court, Chief Justice of India, D.Y. Chandrachud asked the Government of India whether there was a timeframe as to when J&K would get back its statehood.
Faced with the query of the CJI, the Centre is expected to soon make an important announcement regarding the restoration of statehood to J&K, top sources told IANS.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah had told Parliament that statehood would be restored to J&K once normalcy returns to the UT.
The most important political consequence of restoration of statehood to J&K would be that there would exist no reason to further delay holding the Legislative Assembly elections.
“Once they meet their own condition of restoring statehood after the return of normalcy, there would be no reason to delay the legislative assembly in J&K so that power is transferred to the elected representatives of the people,” said a senior leader of the regional National Conference (NC) while adding that a formal reaction would soon be given by NC president, Dr. Farooq Abdullah.
The leaders of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) said the restoration of statehood should be the first step towards ending people’s suffering in J&K.
“We believe that the restoration of statehood would be the means and not the end in itself to undone the wrongs done on August 5, 2019 when Article 370 was unconstitutionally abrogated,” said a top leader of the PDP, who like the NC said a formal statement would be given by the party president, Mehbooba Mufti.
Similarly, middle rung leaders of the J&K Apni Party headed by Syed Altaf Bukhari, Peoples Conference (PC) headed by Sajad Gani Lone and others have described the likely restoration of statehood to J&K as a much awaited decision.
Constitutional experts and senior advocates are discussing the constitutional and administrative implications of the restoration of statehood.
Speaking to IANS, senior advocate, Tasaduq Khwaja said, “Two constitutional and legal scenarios will emerge.
“If the Centre announces restoration of statehood to J&K as it existed on August 4, 2019, then the constitutional requirement would be to revisit the reorganisation which was done in J&K after downgrading of state.
“That would require revisiting/revoking all reorganisational decisions whether legal or administrative. Like the present AGMUT cadre of IAS and IPS will not remain relevant, it would have to be replaced by state cadres of these elite services as they existed before reorganisation.
“This will also apply to many other procedures, decisions and orders that were taken on the strength of the reorganisation of J&K.
“The second scenario would be the Centre announcing the upgrading of J&K to a state.
“This again would have consequences for example, the central administrative tribunal (CAT) will have no jurisdiction over J&K unless a fresh notification is issued otherwise then we would have a state administrative tribunal which would come into existence if the state so desires. If not, service matters will again have to be heard by the high court.
“Even the AGMUT cadre of elite services like the IAS and the IPS may require to be revisited.
“Thus in a nutshell, we will have to see in what form the statehood is granted. Is it at par with other states of the country or would it be like the NCR of Delhi”. — IANS