As J&K is inching closer to the President’s rule, legal experts on Monday said the law-making powers of the state legislature would be exercised by the Parliament or the President of India during the period the state remains under direct central rule.
The state is heading for a spell of President’s rule from December 19 as the six-month Governor rule, which was promulgated on June 20, would come to an end.
According to legal experts, the powers of the state legislature are to be exercisable by the Parliament or under its authority during the President’s rule.
“Unlike the Governor of J&K who assumes all the powers of the state Government and also the powers of the state legislature under section 92 of the J&K Constitution, the President of India only assumes to himself the powers and functions of the state government under Article 356 of Constitution of India,” former law secretary Muhammad Ashraf Mir told ,He said the President does not assume the powers of the state legislature.
“The powers of state legislature during President’s rule are exercised by or under the authority of Parliament. The Parliament can either legislate itself or confer on President the powers of state legislature under Article 357,” he said, adding that the Parliament can also authorise the President to delegate the power to the Governor of the state.
He said the laws made during the central rule remain valid for a period of one year after the proclamation ceases to exist.
“In terms of Clause (2) of Article 357, the laws made by Parliament or President or the Governor during President’s rule shall cease to have effect on expiration of one year after the proclamation has ceased to operate,” he said.
Noted constitutional expert and senior lawyer Tassaduq Hussain said during the President’s rule, the Parliament can make laws on the subjects which fall in the domain of state legislature.
“Once the President’s rule is promulgated, the promulgation can authorise the Parliament to make laws even on those subjects on which the J&K legislature was competent to enact legislations,” he said.
Going by the precedence, the executive and administrative powers of the state have been exercised the Governor during the President’s rule in the state, but legislative powers have remained with the Parliament or the President.
In the 90s, when J&K was under direct central rule for six years, the proclamation issued by the President on 18 July 1990 to bring the state under President’s rule empowered the Parliament to exercise the powers of the state legislature.However, on 14 July 1992, the Parliament enacted Jammu and Kashmir State Legislature (delegation of powers) Act to confer these powers on the President, citing busy schedule of Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha.
“In view of the otherwise busy schedule of business of the two Houses, it may not be possible for Parliament to deal with various legislative measures that may be necessary in respect of Jammu and Kashmir,” read the statement of objects and reasons of the bill conferring powers of the J&K legislature on the President.
The bill was deemed necessary because a number of laws enacted during Governor’s rule between January 19 and July 18, 1990 were losing validity on July 18, 1992.
The laws enacted during governor’s rule have two years validity from the day the proclamation imposing Governor’s rule ceases to exist.