The tenure of Jammu and Kashmir legislative assembly speaker and BJP leader Nirmal Singh has come to an end after a notification was issued by the Jammu and Kashmir administration headed by Lt Governor GC Murmu.
Singh was appointed under the provisions of the now revoked Jammu and Kashmir Constitution. Several political parties especially the Jammu based National Panthers Party (NPP), questioned Singh’s continuation on the post despite the assembly being dissolved.
“Nirmal Singh, speaker of the Legislative Assembly of the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir shall be deemed to have ceased to hold the office of speaker of the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir with effect from 31st October, 2019,” read the notification issued by the Department of Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs on Saturday.
Singh’s continuation on the post was under attack by the opposition party since the abrogation of Article 370. On November 13, NPP chairman and former minister Harsh Dev Singh termed his continuation on the post as an insult to the constitution and the prevalent laws.
Singh was elected on the position on May 10, 2018, ironically over a month before the fall of the PDP-BJP government and imposition of the Governor’s rule in the state on June 20, 2018.
Even after the abrogation of Article 370, and re-organisation of the state into two union territories, Singh continued to attend the office as speaker.
Attacking his stance, the NPP Chairman had said the continuance of the Speaker defied all logic and rationale besides being violative of the Indian Constitution and the provisions encapsulated in J&K Reorganization Act.
As per the notification, Nirmal Singh was appointed as speaker under the section 57 of the Constitution of Jammu and Kashmir.
“The matter has been examined in consultation with the learned advocate general of the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir and the legal position which has emerged in that the Speaker of the legislative assembly of the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir cannot hold the said office after the reorganization of the state of Jammu and Kashmir into the UT of Jammu and Kashmir and UT of Ladakh with effect from October 31,” the notification said.