Centre notifies distribution of power between L-G, govt in Jammu and Kashmir
The police, civil services and the anti-corruption bureau of Jammu and Kashmir will be under the Lieutenant Governor, the Union government said in a notification that now delineates roles and responsibilities between the Centre-appointed functionary and future legislators in a region that was turned from a full-fledged state into a Union Territory last year.
The rules of “transaction of business” were notified by Union home secretary Ajay Bhalla under the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, 2019 and stated that if the L-G and the council of ministers (whenever a government is formed in the UT) differ on any issue, the former is required to refer the matter to the President. The L-G is then required to act according to the decision taken by the President.
The arrangement is similar to the set-up in Delhi, also a Union Territory, in terms of who controls police, IAS and IPS postings and the ACB.
The national capital has been the ground for multiple confrontations between the elected government and the administrative structure headed by the L-G.
The gazette notification said that the J&K L-G, on the advice of the chief minister (when elected), shall allot portfolios among the ministers by assigning one or more departments. The council of ministers shall be collectively responsible for all executive orders issued by any department in the name of the L-G and contracts made in the name of the President in connection with the administration of the UT, it added.
The notification said there will be 39 departments in the Union territory, including agriculture, school education, higher education, horticulture, floriculture, election, general administration, home, mining, power, PWD, transport and tribal affairs.
The erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir had a special status in the Union of India under Article 370 of the Constitution. The piece of the law was abrogated on August 5, 2019 and subsequently, the state was bifurcated into Union territories -- Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh. The Union territories came into existence on October 31 last year.
Thursday’s notification said all communications received from the Centre, including those from the Prime Minister and Union ministers, other than those of a routine or unimportant character, shall, as soon as possible after their receipt, be submitted by the secretary to the chief secretary, the minister in-charge, the chief minister and the L-G.
Any matter, which is likely to bring the government of the UT into a controversy with the Centre or a state government, shall, as soon as possible, be brought to the notice of the L-G and the chief minister by the secretary concerned through the chief secretary, the notification said.