Background Note on The Jammu and Kashmir Reorganization (Amendment) Bill, 2023

December 12, 2023


● The Jammu and Kashmir Reorganization (Amendment) Bill, 2023 aims to allocate 33 percent of
the seats in the Jammu and Kashmir assembly for women.1 This legislation, facilitating the
extension of the Women’s Reservation Law, is scheduled for introduction, consideration, and
passage during the Winter Session 2023.

● Officially known as the Constitution (106th Amendment) Act, the Women’s Reservation Law
seeks to provide 33 per cent reservation to women in the Lok Sabha and State Assemblies. As
there was no provision in the said Act to extend the provisions of Women’s Reservation Law, in
the Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Puducherry, this necessitated the introduction
of separate Bills (The Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation (Amendment) Bill, 2023 in case of
Jammu & Kashmir and The Government of Union Territories (Amendment) Bill, 2023 in case of
Puducherry), for introduction, consideration and passage.2

● The Jammu and Kashmir Reorganization (Amendment) Bill, 2023 aims to incorporate provisions
for a 33 percent reservation, equivalent to around 30 seats, for women in the prospective 90-
member Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Assembly.3 It is anticipated that these provisions for
women’s reservation will be implemented nationwide from the year 2029.4 Women reservation,as and when implemented, will find reflection in five Lok Sabha seats of Jammu and Kashmir as well.5

Areas for Deliberation

● As of now, women’s representation in the parliament is less than 15%, signifying a notable lack
of political participation and inclusion.6 The suggested reservation for women not only tackles
this imbalance but also plays a role in advancing social justice, enhancing the effectiveness of
governance. A parliament that mirrors the diversity of the population is better positioned to
cater to a variety of needs. Empowering women is a pivotal element in nurturing a strong
democracy that values equality over gender discrimination. It is imperative to include Jammu
and Kashmir in these efforts, ensuring that women’s reservation is implemented there as well.

● In the former State of Jammu and Kashmir, a distinctive scenario existed as it was the only State
in the entire nation where two women members were nominated in the Legislative Assembly.7
However, in the 2008 and 2014 Legislative Assembly elections, merely two (among the 30
women contestants) and three (among the 64 women contestants)8 successfully secured seats
respectively.9 This decline in women representation was observed in 2014, despite the fact that
all major political parties participating in the elections had incorporated a 33 percent women
reservation in their election manifestos.10 Given the historical context of lesser women
representation in the Legislative Assembly of Jammu and Kashmir, it becomes crucial to
introduce a Bill to address this imbalance to enhance women representation.

● While Jammu and Kashmir has a provision for a legislative assembly, it is currently under
President’s Rule. The region has now entered its sixth consecutive year without an elected
Government, experiencing substantial political, economic, and administrative transformations. The recent introduction of an Amendment Bill, proposing reservation for women in the
legislative assembly, seems untimely, given the absence of legislative assembly in the Union

● Experts are expressing opposition to the Bill, citing apprehensions whether the Parliament has
legislative competence to amend the Jammu & Kashmir Reorganisation Act 2019. This
legislation, responsible for the division of Jammu and Kashmir into two Union territories, is
presently being contested in the Supreme Court and is sub judice. 11 Consequently, the introduction of a Bill aimed at amending an Act currently undergoing judicial scrutiny raises additional concerns and complexities.


DISCLAIMER: The opinions expressed herein are entirely those of the author(s). Swaniti makes every effort to use reliable and comprehensive information, but Swaniti does not represent that the contents of the report are accurate or complete. Swaniti is a non-profit, non-partisan group. This document has been prepared without regard to the objectives or opinions of those who may receive it. NOTE: The background note is prepared on the basis of information and materials available in media sources or public domain only. The Bill is yet to be introduced in the Parliament, hence, the note will be updated as and when a text of Bill is available

1 “Bill for Women’s Reservation in JK House to be introduced in Parl session: LM”, Daily Excelsior, December 2023. Available at:

2 “Bills listed to extend provisions of women’s reservation law in UTs of Puducherty”, Economic times, December 2023. Available at:

3 “Parliament’s winter session begins tomorrow | J&K ST, SC amendment bills among 19 bills likely to be taken up”, Greater Kashmir. Available

4 Ibid.

5 Ibid.

6 “The Women Reservation Bill”, Rising Kashmir. Available at:

7 “J&K politicians become uneasy after introduction of ‘Women Reservation Bill’ in Lok Sabha”, Early Times, September 2023. Available at:

8 Election Commission of India- State Election, 2008 to the Legislative Assembly Of Jammu & Kashmir. Available at:

9 Ibid.

10 Ibid.

11Padmakshi Sharma, “Jammu & Kashmir Special Status: Supreme Court’s Judgment In Article 370 Case To Be Pronounced This Month” LiveLaw, December 2023. Available at: