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Law to provide quota to OBCs in J&K local bodies comes into effect

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New Delhi:  A law seeking to provide reservation to Other Backward Classes in local bodies in Jammu and Kashmir came into effect on Tuesday with the Union Home Ministry issuing a notification in this regard.

So far, there was no provision for reservation of seats for Other Backward Classes (OBCs) in panchayats and municipalities in the Union territory.

“In exercise of the powers conferred by sub-section (2) of section 1 of the Jammu and Kashmir Local Bodies Laws (Amendment) Act, 2024 (2 of 2024), the Central Government hereby appoints the 20th day of February 2024, as the date on which the provisions of the said Act shall come into force,” according to a notification issued by Union Home Secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla.

The act aims to uphold the principles of fairness and inclusivity in local governance, thereby addressing long-standing disparities and ensuring justice for OBCs.

“With this… justice will be ensured to the citizens of Other Backward Classes of Jammu and Kashmir for the first time after 75 years of Independence,” according to the statement of objects and reasons of the legislation.

The act states that in future, all local body polls will be conducted by a State Election Commission consisting of a State Election Commissioner, instead of the Chief Electoral Officer of Jammu and Kashmir.

The State Election Commissioner shall not be removed from his office except in manners and on grounds as a judge of a high court and the conditions of service of the State Election Commissioner shall not be varied to his disadvantage after his appointment.

“The Jammu and Kashmir Local Bodies Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2024 seeks to amend certain provisions of the Jammu and Kashmir Panchayati Raj Act, 1989, the Jammu and Kashmir Municipal Act, 2000 and the Jammu and Kashmir Municipal Corporation Act, 2000 in consonance with the provisions of the Constitution,” according to the statement of objects and reasons of the legislation.

The act was passed by Parliament recently.

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