In a major development, the Government of India has scrapped a legal provision which granted rent-free accommodation and other facilities to former chief ministers of Jammu & Kashmir.
According to a notification issued on Tuesday evening, the Central government repealed section 3-C of the State Legislature Members' Pension Act, 1984 under which former chief ministers of Jammu and Kashmir were entitled to different privileges and perks.
Former J&K chief ministers were entitled to rent-free furnished accommodation, expenditure to the limit of Rs 35,000 per annum for furnishing of the residential accommodation, free telephone calls up to the value of Rs 48,000 per annum, free electricity to the extent of Rs 1500 per month, car, petrol, medical facilities, driver etc.
This provision of law has been deleted through Jammu and Kashmir Reorganization (an adaptation of state laws) Order-2020.
The move comes months after J&K Law Commission had recommended repeal of the legal provisions providing facilities to former J&K CMs, saying these provisions "violate the constitutional principles of equality," are "arbitrary and not in consonance with any scheme or law."
Meanwhile, the Government of India has repealed the laws under which the State Vigilance Commission and State Commission for Backward Classes Act were established. According to Jammu & Kashmir Re-organisation (an adaptation of state laws) 2020, both the laws governing the creation of these institutions have been repealed.
The repeal of State Commission for Backward Classes would not affect the functioning of J&K Socially and Educationally Backward Classes commission which was established through an executive order by the State Law Department.
The recently constituted commission comprises of Justice (Retd.) GD Sharma and Muneer Ahmad Khan (ADG Law and Order J&K) and Rup Lal Bharati (former IFS officer).