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news details
JKNPP terms Speaker's continuation as unconstitutional
11/13/2019 9:26:18 PM
Early Times Report
Jammu, Nov 13: Questioning the locus of the J&K State Assembly Speaker to continue to hold the office even after dissolution of State and its division into two Union territories, Jammu and Kashmir National Panthers Party (JKNPP) leader Harsh Dev Singh described the novice proposition as an insult to Constitution and the prevalent laws.
He said that with the abrogation of Article 370 and Article 35 A, the J&K Constitution had ceased to exist. And the Re-organization Act enforced on 31st October had bifurcated the existing State into Two Union Territories of J&K and Ladakh respectively.
The Speaker therefore, elected by the State legislature couldn't continue to hold office in the Union territory which was a new creation under the 2019 Reorganization Act.
"Even otherwise the Speaker was elected under Part VI of J&K Constitution as per the procedure laid down in Section 57 of the said Constitution which categorically described Speaker as an officer of State legislature. And since State legislature had been abolished by virtue of an Act of Parliament, the continuance of the Speaker in the name of the proposed legislative Assembly of the new UT was a completely ludicrous proposition.
He said that the Speaker of a dissolved Assembly of a State can continue provided the State itself continues to exist which is not the case in the new set up", said Harsh while describing the continuance of Speaker after October 31 as void and unconstitutional.
Pointing further towards Section 19 of the J&K Reorganization Act, Harsh Dev Singh said that it categorically pointed out that Speaker and Deputy Speaker of legislative Assembly of UT of J&K shall be elected by the members of the said Assembly which was yet to be constituted.
And Section 19(2) further states that "a member holding office as Speaker shall vacate his office if he ceases to be a member of the Assembly", revealed Singh. Under such circumstances the continuance of Speaker defied all logic and rationale besides being violative of the Constitution and the provisions encapsulated in J&K Re-organization Act.
Alleging brazen defiance of rule of law and Constitutional provisions by the helmsman in J&K so as to favour the ruling party men, the NPP Chairman said that growing public unrest and alienation was largely the outcome of such totalitarian and unconstitutional moves of the government.
He said several officers owing allegiance to ruling party had been given extensions arbitrarily by the present government and wondered whether the Speaker was also allowed to continue under the same arrangement in view of his non entitlement for the said office under the prevalent laws.
Asserting that Constitution and democratic values had been held hostage by an autocratic regime in J&K, the NPP Chairman sought the personal indulgence of the President of India, as Constitutional head of the Nation, to save democracy and rule of law in the State.
Surinder Chouhan District President Jammu (Rural) was also present in the press conference.
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