NEW DELHI: As the state of Jammu & Kashmir transformed into two Union Territories on Thursday, the government made it clear that the newly formed UT of Jammu & Kashmir will continue to be under Central rule and this time for an “indefinite period”. While the erstwhile state of Jammu & Kashmir was already under President’s Rule, in states— the rule can be extended at the end of six months only after Parliament gives a nod.
This is perhaps the first time that a UT has been placed under Central rule for an "indefinite period". Constitutional experts said that applicability of Central rule in UTs and states is different. "Unlike in states, where central rule can initially be applied only for six months, the case is different for UTs. It is upon government’s discretion," said constitutional expert Subhash Kashyap.
Sources in the government said that the decision was taken in view of the unrest in the Valley. "Elections cannot be held anytime soon in the Valley. That is why it has been placed under Central rule for an indefinite period. Whenever the situation improves, the government will hold elections and legislative assembly will come into being," said a senior Home Ministry official.
President Ram Nath Kovind issued two separate notifications on Thursday morning — the first revoking the President’s rule in undivided Jammu & Kashmir and subsequently, taking over the control of the administration of the UT of Jammu & Kashmir, which will be controlled through the newly appointed Lieutenant-Governor GC Murmu.
The president, in the notification, said he had received a report from the governor of J&K that the administration of the UT of Jammu & Kashmir could not be carried on in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution and the J&K Reorganisation Act.
“In order to prevent any constitutional and administrative vacuum, it is necessary to invoke section 73 of the Act...” the President said.