J&K UT in Rajya Sabha: Centre amends Representation of People’s Act-1950


SRINAGAR — The Government of India has cleared amendments in the Representation of People’s Act-1950 to define Electoral College for four seats reserved for Jammu and Kashmir in the Rajya Sabha under the Re-Organisation Act.

The amendments approved by the Union Cabinet provide that members of Rajya Sabha would be elected by members of the Legislative Assembly of the UT to be constituted under the J&K Re-Organisation Act.

The Representation of People’s Act, 1951 provides for manner of filling seats in Rajya Sabha allocated to Union Territories. The Act already defined Electoral College for Delhi and Puducherry – the two UTs which have representation in Rajya Sabha. While Delhi has three seats in Rajya Sabha, Puducherry has one seat in the upper House.

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The Re-organisation Act protected J&K’s representation in Rajya Sabha and also the tenure of existing members in the House.

On August 05, 2019, the Government of India amended fourth schedule of the Constitution of India to protect J&K’s representation.

The law also protected tenure of existing four Rajya Sabha members – Ghulam Nabi Azad, Nazir Laway, Fayaz Mir and Shamsher Singh Manhas.

It is worthwhile to mention here that Jammu and Kashmir was provided representation in Rajya Sabha in 1950 through Constitution (application to Jammu and Kashmir) Order, 1950.

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According to terms of the Constitution (application to Jammu and Kashmir) Order, 1950, Rajya Sabha members from J&K were to be chosen by the President on recommendation of the State government.

The first four RS members from J&K were chosen by the President on the recommendation of Constituent Assembly set-up to frame J&K’s constitution.

Under the Constitution (application to Jammu and Kashmir) Order, 1954, all future vacancies arising in the Rajya Sabha of Jammu and Kashmir were to be filled by elected members of Legislative Assembly.

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