A Measure to Give Women One-third of the Seats in the J&K Assembly is Passed by the Lok Sabha

Lok Sabha
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The Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation (Amendment) Bill, 2023, which would allocate one-third of the 90 legislative assembly seats to women, was introduced by Union Minister of State for Home Nityanand Rai and passed by the Lok Sabha on Tuesday. On Wednesday, the Government of Union Territories (Amendment) Bill, which was also introduced in the Lower House and aims to provide a comparable reservation for women in the national capital assembly, is anticipated to pass.
Nityanand Rai stated that Parliament will change the Government of Union Territories Act, 1963 to include a similar provision for a women’s quota in the legislative assembly of the Union Territory of Puducherry.

In preparation for the elections, which must take place by September 2024 per the Supreme Court’s ruling on Monday, the government is organizing the J&K legislature.

The government’s action is in accordance with the Constitution (One Hundred and Sixth Amendment) Act, 2023, which was passed by parliament and paves the way for women to be allocated one-third of all seats in the Legislative Assemblies of each State and the National Capital Territory of Delhi.

The government’s declaration of goals and reasons for the bill was, “To enable greater representation and participation of women as public representatives in law making processes of the Legislative Assembly of the Union territory of Jammu and Kashmir.”

The Bill further stipulated that in the legislative assembly of the Union territory of Jammu and Kashmir, the one-third reservation of seats for women would also apply to Schedule Castes and Scheduled Tribes quotas.

The Bill’s provisions pertaining to the assembly’s reservation of seats for women will take effect following the publication of the pertinent data from the first census conducted following the enactment of the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation (Second Amendment) Act, 2023, and the completion of a delimitation exercise for that purpose. After fifteen years from the date of initiation, it will no longer be in effect.

Women will continue to have a reserved seat in the assembly until a date determined by law by the parliament. The rotation of seats set aside for women in assemblies will begin after any further delimitation exercises that Parliament may by law decide upon.

After the government called a special session of Parliament, the Constitution (One Hundred and Sixth Amendment) Act, 2023 was passed in September. The Prime Minister hailed the measure as “Nari Shakti Vandan Adhiniyam.” However, the law’s implementation would take time, following the next census and the process of delineating boundaries for the purpose of redrawing assembly and Lok Sabha constituencies. The government won’t be able to reserve seats for women in the Lok Sabha and legislatures until after that.

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