Since Aug. 5, 2019, when India moved to strip special constitutional status of Jammu and Kashmir, it has incorporated several legal changes in the statute book of the region.
Here is a timeline of various decisions announced by the Indian government.
Aug. 5, 2019
India revokes provisions of Article 370 of its constitution and other laws related to separate citizenship provision of its only Muslim-majority state, which was also split into two centrally administered territories.
Since then 143 Indian laws extend to the state, 7 local laws retain but with changes, 164 state laws annulled.
The government changes law related to transactions of immovable property. The powers to register such transaction shifts to the revenue department from Judiciary.
Impact: Less scrutiny and lack of judicial oversight in these transactions.
Abolishing of rights commissions
The government orders closure of seven commissions like Jammu and Kashmir State Human Rights Commission (SHRC), State Information Commission, State Accountability Commission, State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission.
The SHRC was enquiring into various cases of human rights abuses.
Jammu and Kashmir government abandons observing birth anniversary (Dec, 5) of Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah, founder of the region’s oldest political party National Conference (NC). The government also drops Kashmir’s national day July 13 (Martyrs’ Day) from its annual calendar of events.
Pro India parties like Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and NC said that the government is out to delete the Kashmir’s political history.
Jan. 25, 2020
The government omits the prefix of Sher-i-Kashmir from police medals. Sher-e-Kashmir is a reference to the former chief minister and NC founder Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah, who was the pioneer of Kashmir’s accession with India.
Authorities rename Public Health Engineering/Irrigation and Flood Control Department to Jal Shakti Department.
Impact: The renaming is seen as imposing Hindu names in a Muslim majority region.
Indian approves adaptation and modifications of 37 laws to be made applicable to Jammu and Kashmir
The government notifies new citizenship laws by issuing domicile notification. A person residing in Jammu and Kashmir for 15 years now eligible to be a citizen of the region.
Before the Aug. 5, 2019 job, land and citizenship rights were reserved for the local population.
The government orders repealing or amending 138 local laws, adopted by the region’s assembly over the years.
Jammu and Kashmir government approves a new media policy for the region. The policy gives limitless powers to the administration to decide fake and anti-national news and to take legal action against journalists or media organizations.
In the recent past, several journalists in Kashmir have received police summons for their news stories.
The excise commissioner of Jammu and Kashmir submits a proposal to open 67 liquor shops in Kashmir Valley and 116 such outlets in the Jammu division.
The administration next day says no decision has been taken yet.
The local religious leaders describe it as an attempt to interfere in the culture and beliefs of the Muslim majority region.
The government amends the Jammu and Kashmir Development Act. The move allows notifying “strategic areas” for the armed forces in the region. It will allow the Indian Army to construct infrastructure.
The government orders that army or paramilitary forces need not seek any special permission for acquiring land.
A committee set up to act against government employees involved in anti-national activities. The measure is seen to curb opposition from the local employees.
Source: Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, 2019; Jammu and Kashmir Reorganization (Adaptation of State Laws) Order, 2020, and government notifications.
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