The Centre has issued rules for a smooth functioning of the Jammu and Kashmir administration, specifying that the police, the all-India services and the anti-corruption bureau will be under the direct control of the Lieutenant Governor (LG) of the Union Territory.
The rules, notified by Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla under the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, 2019, also made it clear that in case of a difference of opinion between the LG and the council of ministers (when it is formed) with regard to any matter, the former shall refer it to the Centre for the decision of the president and shall act according to that decision.
The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) notification said there will be 39 departments in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir, including agriculture, school education, higher education, horticulture, floriculture, election, general administration, home, mining, power, PWD, transport and tribal affairs.
Article 370 of the Constitution, which gave a special status to the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir, was abrogated on August 5, 2019 and subsequently, the state was bifurcated into Union territories — Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh. The Union territories came into existence on October 31 last year.
“In exercise of the powers conferred by section 55 of the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, 2019, read with the Proclamation dated 31st October, 2019 issued under section 73 of the said Act, the President hereby makes the following rules…,” the notification said.
It said the LG shall, in respect of matters connected with “public order”, “police”, “All India Services” and “Anti Corruption Bureau”, exercise his executive functions in his discretion under the Act.
The LG, on the advice of the chief minister (when elected), shall allot the business of the government among the ministers by assigning one or more departments to a minister.
The council (of ministers) shall be collectively responsible for all the executive orders issued by any department in the name of the LG and contracts made in the name of the president in connection with the administration of the Union Territory, whether such orders or contracts are authorised by a minister with respect to a matter pertaining to a department under his charge or as a result of discussions at a meeting of the council.
The notification said all communications received from the Centre, including those from the prime minister and other ministers, other than those of a routine or unimportant character, shall, as soon as possible after their receipt, be submitted by the secretary to the chief secretary, the minister in-charge, the chief minister and the LG for information.
Any matter, which is likely to bring the government of the Union Territory into a controversy with the Centre or a state government, shall, as soon as possible, be brought to the notice of the LG and the chief minister by the secretary concerned through the chief secretary.
In case of a difference of opinion between the LG and a minister with regard to any matter, the former shall endeavour by discussion within two weeks from the date of such disagreement to settle any point on which the difference of opinion has arisen.
Should the difference of opinion persist, the LG may direct that the matter be referred to the council, which shall consider it at its next scheduled meeting and convey its decision, but not later than 15 days from the date of such reference.
In case no such decision is received within 15 days from the date of such reference, the LG”s decision shall be deemed to have been accepted by the council of ministers.
In case of a difference of opinion between the LG and the council with regard to any matter, the former shall refer it to the Centre for the decision of the president and shall act according to that decision, the notification said.