The latest document of Jammu and Kashmir government says 890 central laws have been extended to Jammu and Kashmir and 130 state laws have applied to J&K after modifications after the abrogation of Article 370 on August 5, 2019. However, at the same time the BJP government at the Centre hasn’t extended any central law to Ladakh or adapted any law from erstwhile J&K state, of which Ladakh was part, in the region.
The government has released a 76-page booklet titled ‘Jammu and Kashmir Marching To A New Era’ listing its achievements in J&K. It says under One Nation, One Constitution, One Flag, One Market, all 890 central laws have been made applicable to J&K including laws pertaining to rights to weaker sections, rights to children and senior citizens, laws for good governance, new land laws, and domicile laws.
In contrast to J&K, no central law has been extended to Ladakh in the past two years. The government has also not adapted or modified any law of erstwhile Jammu and Kashmir State in the case of the UT of Ladakh.
After the abrogation of Article 370, Article 35A of Indian Constitution and bifurcation of Jammu and Kashmir into two Union Territories, J&K, and Ladakh, the Central government has issued two gazette notifications for the adaptation of central laws in the concurrent list for J&K. But no such notification was issued in the case of Ladakh.
“The Union Territory government of Ladakh have sought application for jobs for residents of Ladakh without coming up with any law that defines a resident of Ladakh. We don’t know who is a resident of Ladakh? We are lawless since August 5, 2019,” says Asgar Ali Karbali, co-chairman of Kargil Democratic Alliance.
Kargil based lawyer advocate Mustafa Haji says in the absence of any law extended or adapted in Ladakh there is the widespread assumption in the region that previous law of erstwhile State of Jammu and Kashmir are still applicable in Ladakh. “It is because of confusion over the laws no recruitment has taken place in the past two years in Ladakh,” he adds.
Experts in Kashmir say the central government has been very sensitive to Ladakh after the abrogation of Article 370 and Chinese reaction to it, which is the main reason laws haven’t been extended or adapted in Ladakh.