Union Territories of J-K and Ladakh come into existence

Jammu and Kashmir ceased to be a state and became two union territories - Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh - on midnight Wednesday, 86 days after the Parliament revoked the special status enjoyed by it under Article 370.

RK Mathur was sworn in as first lieutenant governor of Union Territory of Ladakh on Thursday.

The home ministry in a late night notification, replaced the state of Jammu and Kashmir with the “union territory of Jammu and Kashmir” and announced omission of “permanent residents or hereditary state subjects”.

The UT of Jammu and Kashmir will have a legislature like Puducherry with an elected legislative assembly and a chief minister. Ladakh, on the other hand, will be a UT without legislature like Chandigarh. It will have two hill development councils.

Both UTs will be headed by lieutenant governors (L-G), under the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, 2019.

GC Murmu will be the lieutenant governor of Jammu and Kashmir Murmu, will be sworn in by chief justice of the Srinagar high court Gita Mittal in a ceremony around 12.30 pm at the Raj Bhavan.

Following the home ministry notification, the Constitution of Jammu and Kashmir and the Ranbir Penal Code has ceased to exist.

The notification also announced several measures including application of central laws in the erstwhile state.

“... there are references in the state laws that have been applied to the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir, and the Union Territory of Ladakh to the expressions ‘permanent residents’ or ‘hereditary state subjects’..., wherever they occur, shall be omitted,” it said.

The references, by whatever form of words, to the “state of Jammu and Kashmir” or “Jammu and Kashmir” or “state” shall from October 31 be construed as “Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir” or “Union Territory of Ladakh”, as the case may be, it said.

It said any reference in any existing law to the “legislature of the state or any House or Houses” shall be construed as references to the legislative assembly or legislature of the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir.

No lawsuit will be maintained for any action taken, including any notification issued or order, rule or appointment made during the period between August 5 and October 31 as these shall be deemed to be valid and operative as if such things had been done or actions taken in accordance with law, according to the notification.

It said any person who has taken an oath or made an affirmation before holding office or position as such under the Jammu and Kashmir Constitution or other laws in force in the existing state of J-K immediately before the appointed day shall be deemed to have taken oath or affirmation under the Indian Constitution or law applicable to the two union territories, and shall continue to hold office or position as such till October 31.

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