Amid voices being raised against the Union Cabinet’s decision to amend a clause in Article 370 on the recommendations of Governor Satya Pal Malik, legal experts say there is no violation or subversion of the Constitution (Application to J&K) Amendment Order, 1954, granting a special status to Jammu & Kashmir.
The Cabinet on Thursday through a Presidential Order extended benefits of reservation in promotion to Scheduled Castes (SCs), Scheduled Tribes (STs), 10 per cent quota to Economically Weaker Sections among general categories and three per cent reservation in government jobs and educational institutions to the people living near the International Border (IB).
“The Cabinet has the power to amend the Constitutional Order, 1954. It can do it. The Governor is the government in J&K at present…There should be no ambiguity over the decision,” said Prof (retd) SK Sharma, former Head of Department (Law), Jammu University.
Prof Sharma, who has served as Information Commissioner in the state, said, “If the Centre shows political will, it can revoke Article 370 also.” He said J&K was under the Governor’s rule in 1986 and Article 249 was extended to the state by the Constitution (Application to J&K) Amendment Order, 1986.
“This order was issued with the concurrence of the Governor as there was no Council of Ministers to aid and advice him. Thus, the President’s move to issue an order under Article 370 with the request of the Governor in absence of a popular government was constitutionally valid,” he said.
[Originally published in The Tribune }