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J&K assembly drops controversial residency bill

Source: PTI
April 05, 2010 18:05 IST
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A controversial bill that sought to debar women in Jammu and Kashmir from their civil rights if they marry a non-domicile was dropped on Sunday from the Legislative Council after the government admitted a "technical flaw" in introducing the proposed law.

Soon after the Question Hour, pandemonium broke out over the issue following which Deputy Chairman S Amrinder Singh announced that the Permanent Resident (Disqualification) Certificate (PRC) Bill was being dropped.Raising the matter, Ravinder Kumar Sharma (Congress) drew the attention of the Chair towards the private member's bill which sought to take away the rights of a woman, who is a domicile of the state, on marrying a non-resident. It was also meant to apply on a woman if her marriage with a domicile man is terminated.

Sharma said such a bill could only be introduced in the state Assembly and added if a constitutional error has been committed by introducing the bill, it should be rectified. He was supported by several party members who stormed the well, creating uproar which led to a brief adjournment.

Responding to their concerns, Revenue Minister Raman Bhalla said he had already told the state Assembly that there is a technical flaw in introducing the bill in the Council. The bill was moved by Murtaza Khan of the Peoples' Democratic Party.

"If materialised, it (the bill) will definitely have legal consequences and affect the special rights enjoyed by women if they choose to marry a non-resident. The bill, if passed, shall definitely alter the definition of female permanent resident of J and K," the Deputy Chairman said. He said section 147 of the J and K Constitution provides "an amendment to the Constitution may be initiated only by the introduction of a bill for the purpose in the Assembly.Hence, I have come to the conclusion... that this bill can only be introduced in the Legislative Assembly and this bill is therefore treated as non-existent and hence dropped," he observed.

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