Srinagar, Dec 23: Jammu & Kashmir’s first state election commissioner Kewal Kumar Sharma is completing his term in the first week of February 2023.
An official said that Sharma, who was appointed as state election commissioner in 2020, cannot hold the office beyond February 01, 2023 as law governing the appointment provides that SEC shall hold the office until he attains age of 65 years.
Born on February 2, 1958, Sharma would attain the age of 65 on February 2, 2023.
As per Jammu & Kashmir Panchayat Raj Act, 1989, the state election commissioner shall hold office as such for a term of five years from the date on which he enters upon his office or until he attains the age of sixty-five years, whichever is earlier.
The state election commissioner is appointed by LG on the recommendations of a committee consisting of the chief minister [chairperson], a senior minister to be nominated member by the chief minister, speaker of Legislative Assembly, minister incharge Panchayats and leader of opposition in legislative Assembly.
The law further provides that State Election Commissioner shall be appointed by the Lieutenant Governor of Union territory of Jammu and Kashmir when J&K is without an elected government and proclamation under section 73 of the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, 2019 is in force.
The State Election Commission was constituted by the Government of J&K under the J&K Panchayat Raj Act for the first time on October 30, 2020. With the implementation of Part IX and IXA of the Constitutional provisions (Article 243K and Article 243-ZA) in UT of J&K, the state election commission has constitutional status with powers of superintendence, direction, control of preparation of electoral rolls and conduct of all elections to the Panchayats and Municipalities.