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Controversial J&K bill set to lapse
Mukhtar Ahmad in Srinagar |
June 09, 2004 23:02 IST
The alliance government in Jammu and Kashmir has decided to allow the controversial Permanent Resident (Disqualification) Bill to lapse, as it failed to garner support in the legislative council.
Any bill passed in the assembly must be carried to the legislative council within three months otherwise it lapses. In this case the mandatory period ends on June 11.
The bill sought to debar local women from owning property in J&K if they married outside the state.
Following pressure from both ruling allies and rights groups, state Law Minister Muzaffar Hussain Beigh said in Srinagar that a new bill on the subject would now be tabled in the assembly.
The bill will "be prepared after consultations with the alliance partners in the Congress party and the opposition National Conference", he said.
"The new bill will be comprehensive and will address the flaws identified in the earlier bill by various quarters so that there is no opposition to its passage in the state legislature," Beigh said.
"It appears the government led by Chief Minister Mufti Mohammed Sayeed finally decided to avoid such a collision course with its allies despite the fact that the opposition NC had promised it support in both Houses," said a legal expert.
NC president Omar Abdullah, a member of Parliament, has in a statement urged the CM to "ensure the passage of Bill before it lapses on June 11".
"The CM, in a bid to save his government, has conveniently decided to shelve the bill and barter the interests of the people of the state," Abdullah said, adding, "non-passage of the bill will be great setback to the autonomy of the state and shall accelerate the process of erosion of the special status of Jammu and Kashmir."