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Sunday 23 February 2020

Union territories Jammu-Kashmir, Ladakh to have 1 high court

A Legislative Assembly will be formed once again in Jammu & Kashmir but not in the union territory of Ladakh, which the Centre will govern

Jammu: Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh will become two separate union territories from 31 October but will have a common high court, State Judicial Academy Director Rajeev Gupta said on Sunday. He said 108 Central Laws would be applicable for the two UTs while 164 state laws would be repealed and 166 state laws will continue to be applicable.

The Centre had on 5 August nullified Article 370 of the Constitution, revoking the special status of the state. Parliament approved the resolution in this regard and also passed the bill on the bifurcation of the state into two UTs.

Later on 9 August, President Ram Nath Kovind gave assent to the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, 2019, bifurcating the two union territories, which will come into existence on 31 October.

Speaking at a refresher programme, organised by the SJA on topic “Appreciation of evidence with specific reference to Dying Declaration, Accomplice Statement and Confessional Statement for Session Judges of Jammu province here, Gupta discussed the effects of J&K Reorganization Act, 2019 on State Laws in Jammu and Kashmir and the pending cases. He said a Legislative Assembly will be formed once again in Jammu and Kashmir but there will be no Legislative Assembly in the union territory of Ladakh as it will be directly controlled by the union government. “There will be a common High Court for the UTs of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh. Existing law and procedure for practice in the high court will remain the same,” he said. He discussed the impact and interplay of repealed acts and repealing acts.

Former High Court Judge, Justice Janak Raj Kotwal, gave his scholarly discourse on the requirements of Evidence Act in the matter of appreciation of evidence by the courts. “There is a need to have a clear understanding and greater knowledge about the provisions regarding relevancy and admissibility of dying declaration and appreciation of evidence in such matters, as also the provisions relating to the evidence of an accomplice in the crime and the confessional statements of the accused,” he said. He quoted the provisions of law and cited case laws to deal with such matters in the courts of law.

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