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Daily Current Affairs – 2020

Topic: For Prelims and Mains

Abolition of Legislative council of J & K

21st October 2019

Why in news?

 Jammu and Kashmir government has recently issued formal orders for abolition of legislative council and opening of new administrative secretariat in Ladakh under the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Bill, which was passed in August.

  • Through this legislation the central government revoked the special status granted to J&K and bifurcated the state into two Union territories of J&K and Ladakh.
  • The government issued orders under section 57 of J&K Reorganisation Bill stating that all the staff members of the legislative council should report to the general administration department.
  • J&K legislative council, with a strength of 36 members, was created in 1957 following adoption of a new constitution by the state constituent assembly and passing of the Legislative Councils Act in Parliament.
  • J&K legislative council members remained in office for six years and comprised 22 elected by the state assembly, two members elected from local authorities, two from panchayat constituency and J&K governor would nominate eight members from eminent persons from various fields.
  • The government order said all the vehicles purchased for the council were transferred to state motor garages.

History of Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Council:

The first Legislature of the State was established by the government of the Maharaja Hari Singh in 1934 under Act No. 1 of 1991 (Bikrami), which later came to be known as the Constitution Act of 1934 A.D.

The Legislature consisted of-

(a) the Council, comprising of the Prime Minister and Ministers appointed by him, and

(b) The Assembly, known as Prajasabha.

Out of seventy five members of the Assembly, thirty were elected from Constituencies and Communities specified in the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly Electoral Regulations while the rest forty two non-elected members included Ministers of His Highness, and officials and persons nominated by him.

In 1939, the Maharaja promulgated the Jammu and Kashmir Constitution Act of 1996 (Bilrami) corresponding to 1939 A.D.

 

WAQF

Why in news?

Sunni Waqf Board has offered to drop its claim to the disputed temple-mosque site in Ayodhya and has no objection to the land being taken over by the government for a Ram Temple, a mediation panel of the Supreme Court has said in its report.

What is a waqf?

Property given in the name of God for religious and charitable purposes.

In legal terms, permanent dedication by a person professing Islam, of any movable or immovable property for any purpose recognised by the Muslim law as pious, religious or charitable.

How is waqf created?

  • A waqf can be formed through a deed or instrument, or a property can be deemed waqf if it has been used for religious or charitable purposes for a long period of time.
  • The proceeds are typically used to finance educational institutions, graveyards, mosques and shelter homes.
  • A person creating the waqf cannot take back the property and the waqf would be a continuing entity.
  • A non-Muslim can also create a waqf but the individual must profess Islam and the objective of creating the waqf has to be Islamic.

 

How is a waqf governed?

  • Governed by the Waqf Act, 1995.
  • A survey commissioner under the Act lists all properties declared as waqf by making local investigation, summoning witnesses and requisitioning public documents.
  • The waqf is managed by a mutawali, who acts as a supervisor. It is similar to a trust established under the Indian Trusts Act, 1882, but trusts can be set up for a broader purpose than religious and charitable uses. A trust established can also be dissolved by the board unlike a waqf.

What is a Waqf Board?

It is a juristic person with power to acquire and hold property and to transfer any such property.

The board can sue and be sued in a court as it is recognised as a legal entity or juristic person.

Composition:

Each state has a Waqf Board headed by a chairperson, one or two nominees from the state government, Muslim legislators and parliamentarians, Muslim members of the state Bar Council, recognised scholars of Islamic theology and mutawalis of the waqfs with an annual income of Rs 1 lakh and above.

 Powers and functions:

The Waqf Board has powers under the law to administer the property and take measures for the recovery of lost properties of any waqf, to sanction any transfer of immovable property of a waqf by way of sale, gift, mortgage, exchange or lease.

However, the sanction shall not be given unless at least two thirds of the members of the Waqf Board vote in favour of such transaction.

About the Indian Trusts Act, 1882:

It is an Act in India related to private trusts and trustees. The act defines what would lawfully be called as a trust and who can be legally its trustees and provides definition for them.

The Indian trusts amendment bill of 2015 amended the act and removed some restrictions on investment of the monetary assets by the trust in certain investments. But at the same time enabled the government to scrutinize the trusts investments at will.

Facts for Prelims

Web Tax:

Italy is readying a new tax on digital companies in its 2020 budget, as it seeks alternative revenues that will allow it to scrap a scheduled increase in sales tax,

  • The levy will oblige multinational web-based giants to pay a 3% levy on internet transactions.
  • The plan is broadly in line with proposals from the Paris-based Organisation for Economic Cooperation (OECD), which last week urged governments to redraw rules for taxing global giants.

 

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