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Why Parliament enacted J&K Official Languages Act?

Why Parliament enacted J&K Official Languages Act?
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‘Powers of Assembly are vested with it’

Nasir Azam

Srinagar, Sep 24 (KNO): The Parliament enacted “The Jammu & Kashmir Official Languages Bill-2020” as powers of the Legislative Assembly of J&K Union Territory are presently vested with it.

Although Jammu & Kashmir Re-Organization Act 2014 empowered the Legislative Assembly of the UT to adopt official language(s), the Presidential proclamation issued on October 31, 2019 states that any reference to the Legislature or Legislative Assembly of J&K UT shall be construed as reference to the Parliament.“ Vide the Order S.O. number 3937(E), dated the 31st October, 2019 issued by the Government of India, any reference therein to the Legislature or Legislative Assembly of the Union territory of Jammu and Kashmir shall, in so far as it relates to the functions and powers thereof, be construed, unless the context otherwise requires, as a reference to Parliament,” reads the statement of objects and reasons of the bill cleared by the Parliament in the ongoing monsoon session, a copy of which is available with the news agency—Kashmir News Observer (KNO).

Under section 46 of Jammu & Kashmir Re Organization Act, the Legislative Assembly of the Union Territory may enact a law to adopt any one or more of the languages in use in the UT as official languages.

It is worthwhile to mention that Presidential proclamation issued on October 31, 2019 was issued under section 73 of the Re-Organisation Act, which empowers the President to suspend the operation of all or any of the provisions of the Act for such period as he thinks fit and make such incidental and consequential provisions as may appear to him to be necessary or expedient for administering the Union territory of Jammu and Kashmir.

Under the Jammu & Kashmir Official Languages Act, Kashmiri, Dogri, Urdu, Hindi and English languages shall be the official languages to be used for all or any of the official purposes of the Union territory—(KNO)

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