Cabinet approves J&K Reservation Amendment Bill 2019: The Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved the Jammu and Kashmir Reservation (2nd Amendment) Bill, 2019. The move will pave the way of extending the benefit of reservation of up to 10 per cent for Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) in educational institutions and public employment alongside existing reservations, reports said. The Central government’s decision will benefit more than 36 lakh local residents of J&K and will not have any impact on Article 35-A which provides special rights and privileges to the permanent residents of the state.

The Supreme Court on Wednesday reserved its order on whether to refer to Constitution Bench for hearing the pleas challenging the Constitution Amendment. In February, the Cabinet had approved amendments to the Constitution (Application to Jammu and Kashmir) order, 1954, by the way of Constitution (Application to Jammu & Kashmir) amendment order, 2019, to provide 10 per cent reservation for EWS in the border state. The government also sought the legal opinion of the Solicitor General to ascertain if the Ordinance any manner circumvented Article 35A on which a petition is pending in the Supreme Court. The legislation has provisions to give the benefits of 3% reservation to those living within 10 kilometres of the International Border (IB) in Jammu, at par with people living along the Line of Control (LoC) in Kashmir.

In June this year, the Jammu and Kashmir government had approved the Bill incorporating 103 rd amendment of the constitution to provide 10 per cent reservation to EWSs in jobs and educational institutions. The state high court had issued notices to the Centre and state, seeking their replies by July 10 on a petition challenging the ordinance. In a similar move, the Goa government too ordered all its departments, PSUs, and educational institutions to implement 10 per cent EWS reservation quota to economically weaker sections in jobs and educational institutions.

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