Case BriefsCOVID 19High Courts

Jammu and Kashmir High Court: Taking stock of how the various departments in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir have responded to the situations arising due to the lockdown that has been imposed to tackle the spread of Covid-19, the Division Bench of Gita Mittal, C.J., and Rajnesh Oswal, J., specifically pointed out the damage caused to some of the internet routers installed by the BSNL in Court of Munsiff, JMIC Chenani, Udhampur, and observed that in the present times, e-connectivity to the courts is all the more important because it is an issue of ensuring access to justice to the citizens, which is a fundamental right and cannot be obstructed in any manner. The Bench also pointed out that, “In the current times of the COVID-19 pandemic and the resultant restrictions, no court can discharge essential judicial functions if there is non-availability of e-connectivity”. The Bench directed the BSNL officials to look into the issue and resolve it with utmost urgency.

Along with the aforementioned directive to the BSNL, The Court also reviewed several status reports filed by various departments like the Social Welfare Department, the Jammu and Srinagar Municipal Corporation etc. The Court was pleased to observe that the said aforementioned departments have taken adequate care to provide proper healthcare and PPE kits to frontline ‘corona warriors’ such as the doctors; and ensuring that stray animals are taken care of, respectively. The Court also noted the deterioration of 63.10 qtls of stock Atta-OMSS food grains, and directed the Food Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs Department officials to remit the recovery amount into the Government Treasury within two days as per Food Manual of 2016. [ Azra Ismail v. Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir, WP (C) PIL No. 4 of 2020, decided on 03-06-2020]

Legislation UpdatesNotifications

Temporary suspension of Telecom Services-directions
Whereas, certain restrictions have been placed on access to internet in the Union Territory of J&K; and

2. Whereas, such restrictions have been placed in order to curb uploading/ downloading/ circulation of provocative videos, guard against rumour mongering/fake news, prevent use of encrypted messaging & VOIP services for infiltration and coordinating terror activities, and defeat the nefarious designs from across the border

3. Whereas, there has recently been a spurt in terrorist violence with launch of new terror outfits and the field agencies have well founded apprehensions of enhanced efforts by Pakistan for recruitment in the terrorists’ ranks as well as infiltration

4. Whereas, the misuse of data services by anti-national elements has potential to scale up violent activities and disturb public order, which has till now been maintained due to gradual easing of restrictions on access to the internet while ensuring that rights

5. Now, therefore, on consideration of the overall security scenario and the reports of the law enforcing agencies, I am satisfied that there is no other alternative but to continue with the speed restrictions in respect of access to internet through mobiles while providing unrestricted fixed line connectivity i.e. without any speed restrictions, and, accordingly, in the interest of the sovereignty and integrity of India, the Security of the State and for maintaining public order, in exercise of the powers conferred by sub-section (2) of section 5 of the Indian Telegraph Act, 1885 and the sub-rule (1) of rule 2 of the Temporary Suspension of Telecom Services (Public Emergency or Public Safety) Rules, 2017, I Principal Secretary to the Government, Home Department, hereby direct that there shall be following restrictions on access to internet: 

A. Mobile data services:

i. The internet speed shall be restricted to 2G only.

ii. While the postpaid sim card holders shall continue to be provided access to the internet, these services shall not be made available on pre-paid sim card unless verified as per the norms applicable for post-paid connections.

B. Fixed line Internet connectivity shall be available with Mac-binding

6. The IsGP, Kashmir/Jammu shall ensure communication of these directions to the service providers with immediate effect and ensure their implementation in letter and spirit.

7. The aforesaid directions shall be effective from 28.04.2020 and remain in force til 11.05.2020, unless modified earlier.

By Order of the Government of Jammu and Kashmir.


Government of Jammu and Kashmir

[Government Order dt. 27-04-2020]

Appointments & TransfersNews

Appointment of Judge of Common HC for UT of J&K and UT of Ladakh

President appoints Shri Rajnesh Oswal, to be a Judge of Common High Court for the Union territory of Jammu and Kashmir and Union territory of Ladakh with effect from the date he assumes charge of his office.


Ministry of Law and Justice

[Notification dt. 29-01-2020]

Hot Off The PressNews

Order under Section 119 of the Income-tax Act, 1961

On consideration of reports of disturbances in internet facility in certain areas of Jammu and kashmir, the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT), in exercise of powers conferred under Section 119 of the Income tax Act, 1961 and in partial modification of CBDT’s order under Section 119 of the Act dated 23-07-2019 and 27-09-2019, hereby further extends the ‘due date’ for filing of Income Tax Returns/ Tax Audit Reports to 30-11-2019 in respect of all categories on Income tax Assessees in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashir and Union Territory of Ladakh who were/ are required to file the Inocme tax Returns/Tax Audit Reports by the due date specified under Section 139(1) of the Act read with orders of CBDT under Section 119 of the Act dates 23-07-2019 and 27-09-2019.

2. It is also clarified that ITRs filed by the certain categories of income tax assessees who were required to file ITRs by 31-08-2019, but have filed ITRs after 31-08-2019 till the date of issuenace of this order shall be deemed to have been field within the due date specified under Section 139(1) of the Act read with CBDT’s order SEction 119 of the Act dated 23-07-2019.


Miinistry of Finance

[Order dt. 31-10-2019]

Amendments to existing lawsLegislation Updates

Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation (Amendment) Bill, 2019 is a bill to provide for the reorganisation of the existing State of Jammu and Kashmir and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.

As stated by Union Home Minister, Amit Shah, The Ladakh Division of the State of Jammu and Kashmir has a large area but is sparsely populated with very difficult terrain. There has been a long pending demand of people of Ladakh, to give it the status of a Union Territory to enable them to realize their aspirations.

The Union Territory of Ladakh will be without Legislature. Further, keeping in view the prevailing internal security situation, fuelled by cross border terrorism in the existing State of Jammu and Kashmir, a separate Union Territory for Jammu and Kashmir is being created. The Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir will be with the legislature.

The Bill consists of 103 Sections, out of which a few have been listed down:

Part 2

Reorganisation of the State of Jammu and Kashmir

Section 3

Formation of Union territory of Ladakh without Legislature. It will comprise of Kargil and Leh Districts.

Section 4

Formation of Union territory of Jammu and Kashmir with Legislature

Section 5

Governor of existing State of Jammu and Kashmir to be Common Lieutenant Governor; Whereas UT of Ladakh for such period as may be determined by President.

Section 10

Representation in House of the People 5 seats to the successor UT of Jammu and Kashmir and 1 seat to UT of Ladakh, in the House of the People.
Section 11 Delimitation of Parliamentary Constituencies Order 1976.

Section 13

Applicability of Article 239A of Constitution. Provisions contained in Article 239A, which are applicable to “UT of Puducherry”, shall also apply to the “UT of Jammu and Kashmir”
Section 33 Exemption of property of the Union from taxation

Section 35

Inconsistency between laws made by Parliament and laws made by Legislative Assembly.

Section 36

Special provisions as to financial Bills A Bill or amendment shall not be introduced into, or moved in, the Legislative Assembly except on the recommendation of the Lieutenant Governor

Section 39

When a Bill is reserved by Lieutenant Governor for the consideration of the President, the President shall declare either that he assents to the Bill or that he withholds assent

Section 47

The Legislative Assembly may by law adopt any one or more of the languages in use in the Union territory of Jammu and Kashmir or Hindi as the official language or languages to be used for all or any of the official purposes of the Union territory of Jammu and Kashmir.

Section 49

No discussion shall take place in the Legislative Assembly with respect to the conduct of any judge of the Supreme Court or of a High Court in the discharge of his duties

Section 57

Abolition of Legislative Council of the State of Jammu and Kashmir.
Part IV Administration of UT of Ladakh

Section 73

Provision in case of failure of Constitutional machinery. If the President, on receipt of a report from the Lieutenant Governor of Union territory of Jammu and Kashmir, or otherwise, is satisfied,—

 

(a) that a situation has arisen in which the administration of the Union territory of Jammu and Kashmir cannot be carried on in accordance with the provisions of this Act, or

 

(b) that for the proper administration of Union territory of Jammu and Kashmir it is necessary or expedient so to do,

the President may, by order, suspend the operation of all or any of the provisions of this 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 in accordance with the provisions of this Act.

Section 75

High Court of Jammu and Kashmir to be common High Court. High Court of Jammu and Kashmir shall be the common High Court for the Union territory of Jammu and Kashmir and Union territory of Ladakh

*Refer the Bill as introduced in the Rajya Sabha: Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation (Amendment) Bill, 2019


Rajya Sabha

Bill No. XXIX of 2019