Transfer of property among 37 laws on Concurrent List to apply in J&K

TNN Bureau. Updated: 2/27/2020 12:30:37 PM Front Page

JAMMU: With a view to ensuring a smooth transition from the laws operative in the erstwhile state to the central laws, the Narendra Modi government today approved for the implementation of 37 central laws on the Concurrent List for their seamless applicability in Jammu and Kashmir, a newly created Union Territory awaiting its legislature.

Following the Cabinet nod on Wednesday the order of implementation of central laws on the Concurrent List will be issued under the provisions of the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act.

This will effectively replace the local laws on matters such as marriage and divorce, infants and minors, transfer of property other than agricultural land, contracts and torts, bankruptcy, trusts, courts, family planning and charities etc.

It may be mentioned here that under the federal political structure of India, the subjects for legislation are divided into a 'Union List', a 'State List', and a 'Concurrent List'. The Union List of ninety-six subjects, including defence, military and foreign affairs, major transport systems, commercial issues like banking, stock exchanges and taxes, are provided for the Union government to legislate exclusively. The State List of sixty-six items covering prisons, agriculture, most industries and certain taxes, are available for States to legislate on. The Concurrent List, on which both the Centre and States may legislate include criminal law, marriage, bankruptcy, trade unions, professions and price control. In case of conflict, the Union legislation takes precedence. The 'residual power', to make laws on matters not specified in the Constitution, rests with the Union. The Union may also specify certain industries, waterways, ports etc. to be 'national', in which case they become Union subjects.

However, in the case of Jammu and Kashmir, the 'Union List' and the 'Concurrent List' were initially limited to the matters ceded in the Instrument of Accession; later, they were extended with the concurrence of the State Government. The 'residual powers' continued to rest with the State rather than the Union.

According to the State Autonomy Committee, set up by National Conference government in late 1990s, ninety-four of the ninety-seven items in the Union List applied to Jammu and Kashmir. Of the 'Concurrent List', twenty-six of the forty-seven items applied to Jammu and Kashmir meaning that state had exclusive rights to legislate on remaining items.

Last August, the Centre announced the abrogation of Article 370 provisions for Jammu and Kashmir and bifurcated the state into two Union territories. The new territories of Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh came into being on October 31, 2019.

An official statement later said all the central laws, applicable to the whole of India except the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir before October 31, 2019 are now applicable to Union territory of Jammu and Kashmir from October 31, 2019.

"...It is necessary to adapt the central laws made under the Concurrent List, with required modifications and amendments, for ensuring administrative effectiveness and smooth transition with respect to the Union territory of Jammu and Kashmir thereby removing any ambiguity in their application in line with the Constitution of India," a statement said.

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