65 Bills Lapsed After Governor Dissolved Assembly In J&K

Srinagar: A crucial bill that could have put an end to transfer of immovable property to non-state subjects in Jammu province is among some 65 proposed legislations that lapsed after the governor Satya Pal Malik dissolved the state assembly on November 21 last year.

An official in the J&K assembly secretariat told Greater Kashmir that 62 private member bills and three government bills lapsed at the end of the 12th assembly.

“All bills pending before the assembly or its committee lapse when it (assembly) is dissolved,” he said.

The lapsed bills included a bill to amend the transfer of property Act and damage to property Act.

The bill seeking amendment in the transfer of property Act was brought in by the government in 2016 to prevent transfer of property to non-state subjects in Jammu province.

The proposed amendments sought restrictions throughout the state on taking possession of or undertaking any construction activity on property (land) transferred, unless it was registered in accordance with the law of the land.

As per the existing legal framework, such restrictions were applicable only to Kashmir province.

“No such restriction has been imposed in the Act for the aforesaid purpose in respect of Jammu division, with the result the land is being transferred to the non-permanent residents of the state, through unrecognised modes like power of attorney, agreement to sell etc.,” read the statement of ‘objects and reasons’ of the bill.

The bill was sent to a select committee on June 30, 2016 after the BJP opposed it, even as its ministers approved it for introduction during a cabinet meeting.

Headed by the then revenue minister BasharatBukhari, the select committee never met nor did the government seek its mandatory extension from the assembly.

The other members of the panel were NawangRigzinJora (Congress), Devender Singh Rana (NC), Rajiv Jasrotia (BJP), Ranbir Singh Pathania (BJP), Muhammad YousufBhat (PDP), Abdur Rahim Rather (PDP), Bashir Ahmad Dar (Peoples Conference) and Pawan Kumar Gupta (Independent).

The second government bill that lapsed was mooted by the state’s home ministry to amend the Property Damage Act.

It was sent to a select committee in 2018 after the government faced wide flak from the opposition, which termed it as a draconian law and equated it with other controversial laws in the state.

The bill empowered the police to book leaders and organisers calling for shutdowns, demonstrations or other forms of protest and hold them responsible for any properties damaged during such acts.

The third lapsed government-proposed legislation was aimed at giving politicians a role in the management of Hindu shrines.

The ‘J&K Shri Mata Sukharala Devi Ji Shrine and Shri Mata BalaSundari Shrine (Ammendment) Bill 2018’ was brought to pave way for appointment of local MLA as member of the Board.

The bill was sent to a select committee after NC legislator Devinder Singh Rana opposed it, saying shrine boards should be kept out of politics.

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