This article on ‘The Jammu And Kashmir Reservation (Amendment) Bill, 2023: All you need to know’ was written by Tooba Shahid, an intern at Legal Upanishad.
The Jammu and Kashmir Reservation (Amendment) Bill, 2023 is intended to modify the words used for socially and educationally backward classes in Jammu and Kashmir. This bill was introduced in Lok Sabha recently on December 11, 2023. The Jammu and Kashmir Reservation (Amendment) Bill, 2023 was introduced in the Lok Sabha (the lower house of the Parliament of India) by the Minister of Home Affairs, Mr. Amit Shah.
This amendment aims to change the terminology of ‘weak and underprivileged classes’ to ‘other backward classes’ in sub-clause (iii) of clause (o) of Section 2 of the Reservation Act, 2004. It also seeks to amend clause(q) of Section 2 of the Reservation Act, 2004.
Purpose of Jammu And Kashmir Reservation (Amendment) Bill, 2023
On the recommendation of the Jammu and Kashmir Socially and Educationally Backward Classes Commission this bill tries to remove the confusion because of the words used in the Reservation Act which will ensure that only the eligible person will get the benefits of the reservation. Also, the word weak is not right to be used for people of any section of society. It is derogatory, so this amendment is towards upholding the dignity of the people who are not privileged.
This amendment shows the intention to align the reservation policy of Jammu and Kashmir with the values of the constitution of social justice and equality as the words that are being added are after the words as defined in clause (26) of Article 366 of the Constitution.
This bill is yet to be passed by both houses of the parliament and to get the consent of the president to become law. It is still pending in the Lok Sabha, if it is passed it will be sent to the Upper House i.e. Rajya Sabha for approval. Thereafter, it will be presented before the President of India for her assent. If the amendment gets the assent of the President of India, then this act will come into force on such a date as the Central Government may appoint by notification in the official gazette.
The Reservation Act of 2004 aimed at providing reservations for a specific category of people for admission to educational institutions in the state of Jammu and Kashmir.
The bill is likely to be passed by the parliament as both the ruling party and the opposition party have expressed their support for the bill. However, some parties are opposing this amendment. They claim that this amendment violates the rights and interests of the people of Jammu and Kashmir. So, there is a mixed reaction from different sections of people and political sides.
According to some people, the bill is regarded as a progressive measure that will benefit the backward classes and will promote social justice and equality while others have criticized the bill as a step that can erode the identity of the marginalized people in the state of Jammu and Kashmir. The time of announcement of the bill is also being questioned because it is introduced at the time when the assembly elections are expected to be held in 2024 so the motive behind this amendment is being questioned.
This Jammu And Kashmir Reservation (Amendment) Bill, 2023 is a significant piece of legislation as it reflects the values of social justice and equality. This amendment is needed to address the issue of the backward classes which is regarding the confusion of their status. The bill aims to align with the national policy so that the people can get the maximum benefits and opportunities in public employment and education.
List of References
- Suchitra Karthikeyan, The three Bills on reservation in Jammu & Kashmir | Explained, The Hindu, 10 December 2023, available at: https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/the-three-bills-on-reservation-in-jammu-kashmir-explained/article67098856.ece
- Awstika Das, The Jammu and Kashmir Reservation (Amendment) Bill, 2023, LiveLaw, 11 December 2023, available at: https://www.livelaw.in/top-stories/parliament-jammu-and-kashmir-reservation-bill-reorganisation-amendment-bill-article-370-244269
- The Jammu and Kashmir Reservation (Amendment) Bill, 2023, PRS India, available at: https://prsindia.org/billtrack/the-jammu-and-kashmir-reservation-amendment-bill-2023