Jharkhand Governor Ramesh Bais on Sunday returned a bill approved by the Jharkhand assembly that defines the state's local residents on the basis of the land survey record of 1932.
The Governor claimed that the bill violates Article 16 of the Indian Constitution and has sought a reconsideration of the bill.
In an official release from Raj Bhavan, the Governor stated, "According to Article 16(3) of the Indian constitution, only the parliament has been empowered to impose any kind of conditions in the case of employment under section 35(A) under special provision. The state legislature does not have this power."
"According to the this act, a person having domicile of Jharkhand shall mean a person who is an Indian citizen and resides within the territorial and geographical limits of Jharkhand and his or his ancestor's name is recorded in the survey/khatiyan of 1932 or earlier. It mentions that only local persons identified under this act will be eligible for appointment against class III and class IV of the state," said the Governor through the release.
Triggering a controversy in state politics, the ruling government led by Chief Minister Hemant Soren has questioned the governor's intention.
Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) leader and a member of Rajya Sabha, Mahua Maji said, "Our Chief Minister wants the benefit of everyone in the state. The governor has used his constitutional power to return the bill. What is the intention behind this?"
Supporting the decision of the Governor, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) claimed that the bill was brought in a rush and inappropriate manner and had a lot of loopholes.
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader CP Singh claimed, "The bill has been approved by the assembly in a hurry. A lot of people could not even read the bill properly. The bill might have some loopholes as it was passed in such a rush."
The Jharkhand Legislative Assembly during a special session on November 11 last year passed the 'Jharkhand definition of local persons and for extending the consequential, social, cultural and other benefits to such local persons Bill, 2022', popularly known as 1932 Khatiyan Bill.
Only those who have their names or that of their ancestors, in the Khatiyan (land records) of 1932 or before will be considered as local inhabitants of Jharkhand and only they would be entitled to grade III and IV government jobs in the state, the draft legislation had proposed. (ANI)