J-K’s Administrative Council approves amendments for OBC reservation in Panchayati Raj Act

JAMMU — The Administrative Council (AC) which met here under the chairmanship of the Lieutenant Governor, Manoj Sinha approved carrying out amendments in Jammu and Kashmir Panchayati Raj Act, 1989 to incorporate the definition of OBCs in the Act to ensure their reservation in this grassroots democratic institution.

Rajeev Rai Bhatnagar, Advisor to the Lieutenant Governor; Atal Dulloo, Chief Secretary, Dr Mandeep K. Bhandari, Principal Secretary to Lieutenant Governor attended the meeting.

Earlier, the draft J&K Panchayati Raj Act (Amendment) Bill 2023 was submitted to MHA, GoI and observations raised by MHA were examined and necessary amendments have been incorporated in the revised draft J&K Panchayati Raj Act (Amendment) Bill.

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The Amendment Bill proposes the incorporation of the definition of OBCs for providing reservation for the Other Backward Classes, explaining a method of disqualification from membership of Halqa Panchayat, suspension and removal of Sarpanch, Naib-Sarpanch and Panch by the Government. It also defines the process for removal and conditions of service of the State Election Commissioner (SEC) here.

The proposed amendments aim to make the J&K Panchayati Raj Act, 1989 more effective by ensuring transparency in the functioning of PRIs, constitutional alignment & consistency with practices in other states where reservation has been provided to the OBCs apart from the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes.