- Recently, the Union government has notified rules for administration in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir that specify the functions of the Lieutenant Governor (LG) and the Council of Ministers.
Functions of Lieutenant Governor (LG) of J&K
- The transaction of business rules states that police, public order, All India Services and anti-corruption will fall under the executive functions of the LG.
- The Chief Minister or the Council of Ministers will have no say in their functioning.
- The Chief Minister would not even have the power to transfer a constable of the Jammu & Kashmir Police.
- The proposals or matters which affect or are likely to affect the peace and tranquility of the UT or the interest of any minority community i.e. the Scheduled Castes, the Scheduled Tribes and the Backward Classes shall essentially be submitted to the Lieutenant Governor through the Chief Secretary, under intimation to the Chief Minister.
Functions of Council of Ministers of J&K
- The Council of Ministers, led by the Chief Minister will decide service matters of non-All India Services officers.
- The proposal to impose new tax, land revenue, sale grant or lease of government property, reconstituting departments or offices and draft legislation falls under Council of Minister.
Provisions for Difference of Opinion between LG and Council of Ministers
- The new rules provide that if the difference in opinion between LG and Council of Ministers is not resolved after a month then the decision of the Lieutenant Governor shall be deemed to have been accepted by the Council of Ministers.
- It implies that in case of a difference of opinion between the council of ministers and the lieutenant governor, the LG’s opinion will be considered binding.
- The rules state that any matter which is likely to bring the Government of the Union territory into controversy with the Central Government or with any State Government shall be brought to the notice of the LG and the Chief Minister by the secretary concerned.
- The President of India will have the final say on any matter over which differences may arise between the LG and J&K’s Council of Ministers.
- The LG of J&K has been empowered to pass directions in such situations that action taken by the Council of Ministers will be suspended for as long as it takes the President of India to decide on the cases referred to her.
New Departments for Union Territory of J&K
- The new rules provide that there will be 39 departments in the UT such as school education, agriculture, higher education, horticulture, election, general administration, home, mining, power, Public Works Department, tribal affairs and transport.
- The rules mention that all communications received from the Centre shall be submitted by the secretary to the Chief Secretary, the Minister in charge, the Chief Minister and the LG for information.
Source: The Hindu