Other States

Constitution of J&K still in force, says NC MP Hasnain Masoodi

A video grab of National Conference MP Hasnain Masoodi speaks in the Lok Sabha during the ongoing monsoon session of the Parliament, in New Delhi.   | Photo Credit: PTI

National Conference (NC) Member of Parliament (MP) and former judge Hasnain Masoodi on Wednesday said the J&K Official Languages Bill, 2020, was against the constitutional propriety because it was a consequence of the J&K State Reorganization Bill, which is under the scrutiny of the Supreme Court.

“Parliament is not competent to abrogate the constitution of the State by bifurcating it into UTs and that the Constitutions cannot be nullified and obliterated altogether even though amendments as per the prescribed law and valid constitutional procedures”, Mr. Masoodi observed.

The Constitution of J&K was still in force and Urdu, the official language under the Section 145, ‘is still the official language of the State’. “The constitutional propriety demands that the J&K Official Languages Bill be taken back as a mark of respect for the country’s judiciary and principles of parliamentary democracy,” he stated.

Using the emergency section, Section 73, was also unreasonable because Urdu and English were already the working official languages of J&K. “What will the Government of India [GoI] do if the Supreme Court decides against the measures of August 5 and all the laws that were enacted as a consequence of it? The GoI should wait for the verdict of the apex court.” he added.

PDP unhappy

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the Peoples Conference (PC) have also expressed their displeasure over the introduction of the Bill.

“Interestingly, Gojri, Pahari and Punjabi were kept away in the official language list. Gojri is a largely spoken language in J&K across its terrains”, PDP youth president Waheed-ur-Rehman Para said.

Urdu was made the official language of the State of J&K by Maharaja Pratap Singh in 1899 and then again chosen to be the official language by the J&K Constituent Assembly.

The Bill, which was passed by the Rajya Sabha as well as the Lok Sabha, has included Kashmiri, Dogri and Hindi in the list of official languages of J&K in addition to Urdu and English.

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Printable version | Dec 3, 2020 1:35:36 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/official-languages-bill-against-constitutional-propriety-nc-mp/article32679684.ece

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