The Jammu and Kashmir administration headed by Lt Governor GC Murmu has issued a notification ending the tenure of legislative assembly Speaker and senior BJP leader Nirmal Singh who was appointed to the post under provisions of the now-revoked J&K Constitution.
The order comes days after several political parties, especially the Jammu-based National Panthers Party (NPP), questioned Mr Singh's continuation on his post despite the dissolution of the Assembly, scrapping of provisions of Article 370 and bifurcation of the erstwhile state into two Union Territories.
"...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.
On November 13, NPP chairman and former minister Harsh Dev Singh termed Mr Singh's continuation on the Speaker's post as "an insult to the constitution and the prevalent laws".
Nirmal Singh was elected as the Speaker of the legislative assembly of the erstwhile Jammu and Kashmir state on May 10, 2018, over a month before the fall of the PDP-BJP government and imposition of Governor's rule on June 20, 2018.
The BJP leader continued as the Speaker even after re-organization of the state into two union territories and attended office on November 4 after the government shifted its base from Srinagar to Jammu following the bi-annual ''darbar'' move.
Alleging brazen defiance of the rule of law and Constitutional provisions by the helmsman in Jammu and Kashmir so as to favour a member of the ruling party, 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.
The notification pointed out that Nirmal Singh was appointed as Speaker of the legislative assembly of the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir under section 57 of the Constitution of Jammu and Kashmir.
"Whereas, 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.