UTs Of Jammu and Kashmir And Ladakh Come Into Existence From Today

UTs Of Jammu and Kashmir And Ladakh Come Into Existence From Today

The Jammu and Kashmir Reorganization Act, which downgrades as well as bifurcates the State of Jammu and Kashmir into the Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh, has taken effect from 31st October 2019, that is 86 days after Parliament abrogated its special status under Article 370.

The Centre had notified 31st October 2019 as the 'appointed day' for the taking effect of the Act passed by the Parliament on 6th August.

The Act has been made along with the measures taken by the Central Government towards revoking the special status enjoyed by the State of Jammu and Kashmir by diluting Article 370 of the Constitution.
A slew of petitions were filed in the Supreme Court challenging the constitutionality of Jammu and Kashmir Reorganization Act and the repeal of the special status of the state. On 1st October, the Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court postponed the hearing of the petitions till 14th November based on Centre's request for time towards filing reply. However the petitioners sought for a listing before 31st October, the Court refused.

Administration of the new Union Territories

Jammu and Kashmir would be a Union Territory with a state legislature. Ladakh would not be having a state legislature. The term of the Legislative Assembly was fixed at 5 years. This, too, is a notable change as; previously, the term of the Legislative Assembly of the State of Jammu & Kashmir was fixed at 6 years under the Constitution of Jammu and Kashmir.

The Union Territory of Jammu & Kashmir would be administered by the President, through an administrator selected by him known as the Lieutenant Governor. The Union Territory of Ladakh would be administered by the President, through a Lieutenant-Governor selected by him.

IAS officers Girish Chandra Murmu as well as R K Mathur, has been appointed as the new Lieutenant Governors for the Union territories of Jammu and Kashmir, as well as Ladakh respectively, would be sworn-in a separate functions which are to be held in Srinagar as well as Leh on Thursday.

Both Murmu and Mathur shall be sworn in by Chief Justice of Jammu & Kashmir High Court Gita Mittal.

The Act provides for a 107-member legislative assembly for Jammu & Kashmir, which could make laws on any matter stated in the State list of the 7th  Schedule, except 'police' and 'public order', and any matter in the concurrent list applicable towards UTs.


The High Court of Jammu & Kashmir would be the common High Court for both the Union Territories and the Judges of the existing High Court would continue towards being the Judges of the common High Court.

There shall be no change in the name of the High Court, and unlike the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act, 2014, which provided for the High Court of Judicature at Hyderabad in the direction of temporarily function as the High Court for both the successor states, this is not a temporary provision.

The Advocate's Act, 1961 was amended to replace the Bar Council of Jammu and Kashmir with the "Bar Council of Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh". It has been provided that the advocates registered with the Bar Council of State of Jammu and Kashmir and practising before the High Court of Jammu and Kashmir might continue to be the members of new Bar Council.

Additionally, any individual entitled to practice in any subordinate court in the existing state of Jammu & Kashmir would be entitled to practice in such court for a period of 1 year, though any part of such territory within the jurisdiction of such court might have been transferred to any of the Union Territories.

The Bill states that there shall be an Advocate General for the UT of Jammu and Kashmir, which is to be appointed by the Lieutenant Governor. However, no such provision was provided for the UT of Ladakh.


One of the most noteworthy changes that the Bill brings is that it repeals 164 State Laws as well as made 108 Central Laws applicable towards both the Union Territories by omitting the words "except the State of Jammu and Kashmir" from the provisions of those Acts.

Also, statutes such as the India Penal Code, 1860, the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908, the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, the Indian Evidence Act, 1872, the Indian Contract Act, 1872 as well as many personal laws which were previously inapplicable towards the State of Jammu and Kashmir, are now applicable to both the Union Territories, like the rest of India.

Consequently, statutes like the Ranbir Penal Code, the Jammu & Kashmir Evidence Act, the Civil Procedure Code as well as the Criminal Procedure Code of the State of Jammu & Kashmir were repealed.


eStartIndia Team

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