Constitution & Law Current Affairs - 2020

Summary of latest bill and acts passed or pending in 2019 in Parliament of India with their salient features and issues for Current Affairs 2019 preparation for various examinations such as UPSC, SSC, State Civil Services, CLAT, Judicial Services etc.

Jammu & Kashmir Legislative Council abolished

The 62-year-old State Legislative Council of Jammu and Kashmir has come to an end with State Administration issuing formal orders for its abolition with immediate effect. The transition of Ladakh region as the youngest Union Territory will be done on 31 October 2019.

Key Highlights

The State Administration issued orders in terms of Section 57 of J&K Reorganization Act, 2019 and has asked 116-member staff of Legislative Council to report to General Administration Department by 22 October 2019.

As per the government order, all the vehicles purchased for council were transferred to state motor garages.

In addition to this the Jammu and Kashmir government also issued formal orders for opening of new administrative secretariat in Ladakh under the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Bill, (passed in August 2019). Through this legislation the central government revoked special status granted to J&K and bifurcated state into two Union territories of J&K and Ladakh.

Background

The J&K legislative council was created in year 1957 following adoption of a new constitution by state constituent assembly and passing of Legislative Councils Act in Parliament. These legislations created a bicameral legislature for the state of J&K. It then had a strength of 36 members.

The council was used by political parties across the spectrum to adjust and rehabilitate their senior members and prominent party supporters. This also allowed party members who lost elections to enter power structure and grab ministerial posts despite losing.

Office Term: The J&K legislative council members remained in office for a period of six years. It comprised of 22 elected by state assembly, 2 members elected from local authorities, 2 from panchayat constituency and J&K governor would nominate 8 members from eminent persons from various fields.

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Four new Supreme Court judges appointed, strength now 34

The Centre on 18 September 2019 cleared the appointments of four new judges to the Supreme Court. With the appointment, the judges’ strength in apedx court is now 34. On August 30, the Supreme Court four chief justices for the appointment to the top court in order to fill the vacant posts.

Key Highlights

The newly appointed SC judges are-

  1. Haryana High Court Chief Justice Krishna Murari
  2. Himachal Pradesh High Court Chief Justice V. Ramasubramanian
  3. Rajasthan High Court Chief Justice S Ravindra Bhat
  4. Kerala High Court Chief Justice Hrishikesh Roy

Once the newly appointed 4 SC Judges takes oath, the total strength of Supreme Court (34) will be highest ever till date.

The Supreme Court vacancies had increased its judicial strength from 31 to 34 (including Chief Justice of India) following the enactment of Supreme Court (Number of Judges) Bill of 2019 into law. One of said four judges would replace the vacancy following retirement of SC Justice A.M. Sapre.

Background

Originally, the Supreme Court (Number of Judges) Act, 1956 provided for a maximum number of 10 judges (excluding CJI). This strength was increased to 13 by Supreme Court (Number of Judges) Amendment Act, 1960, and to 17 in 1977. However, till the end of 1979, the working strength of Supreme Court was, restricted to 15 judges by cabinet (excluding CJI). But the restriction was withdrawn at request of chief justice of India.

In 1986, the strength of top court was increased to 25 (excluding CJI). Later, the Supreme Court (Number of Judges) Amendment Act, 2009 further augmented the strength of SC from 25 to 30.

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