J&K Assembly has technically ceased to exist: Harsh

Jammu, Aug 11: Having failed to meet for transacting the legislative business during the last six months in terms of the mandate of sec 53 (1) of state constitution, Jammu and Kashmir National Panthers Party on Saturday said that the legislative Assembly had technically ceased to exist in the state of J&K.
Former minister and JKNPP Chairman Harsh Dev Singh said that that sec 53 (1) of state constitution defining the powers of Governor to summon the sessions of legislature and dissolution of Assembly categorically provided that gap between two sessions can’t exceed six months in any case.
“Relevant constitutional provision stated in very unambiguous terms that “six months shall not intervene between its last sitting in one session and the date appointed for its first sitting in the next session”. The existing Assembly in J&K having failed to hold session during the last six months, the provisions of sec 53 (1) automatically get attracted thus leading to dissolution of Assembly by efflux of time,” said Singh here in a press conference.
He said that the last sitting of Budget session having been held on Feb 12, 2018, the next session of the legislature ought to have been convened by August 11, 2018 which has not been done thereby attracting the provisions of the said clause of the state constitution.
Refuting the argument advanced by certain quarters that Assembly had met on May 10 to hold the election of speaker, Singh pointed out that the said meeting does not satisfy the requirement of sec 53 (1) of the constitution.
He pointed out that sessions of legislature are to be summoned by the Governor under powers conferred upon him by sec 53 of the state constitution and the gap between these successive sessions under the said constitutional provision should not exceed six month.
He revealed that the order for election of Speaker was not issued under sec 53 of the constitution but under Rule 9 (1) of the “Rules of procedure and conduct of Business” only for the purpose of holding the election of speaker.
He pointed out that the said order of the Governor issued on May 9 reads, “under Rule 9 (1) of the Rules of procedure and conduct of Business in J&K legislative Assembly, I, N N Vohra, hereby fix May 10 2018, at 2 pm, as the date on which the election of speaker of legislative Assembly shall be held”.
It therefore being amply clear that the House not having been summoned under sec 53 of the constitution for transacting business during the last six months, the legislative Assembly has ceased to exist with members thereof losing all rights and privileges including their entitlements for salary and other emoluments which they continued to receive during the period of suspension.
He urged upon the Governor to fulfil the constitutional obligation of formally announcing the dissolution of the House.