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J&K opposition raises questions over CM Mufti Sayeed’s oath

Mufti did not read, “I will bear true faith and allegiance to the Constitution of the state as by law established, that I will uphold the sovereignty and integrity of India.”

Written by Mir Ehsan | Srinagar |
Updated: March 6, 2015 11:39:28 am
mufti mohammad sayeed, PDP BJP kashmir, CM mufti Mufti Mohammad Sayeed taking oath as J&K CM.

Opposition parties in Jammu and Kashmir have raised questions over the legal and technical correctness of the oath taken by Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed on Sunday. The parties have asked the chief minister to take fresh oath as he has not taken it in accordance with the Constitution of the state which could have serious political ramifications.

During the oath ceremony, Mufti did not read, “I will bear true faith and allegiance to the Constitution of the state as by law established, that I will uphold the sovereignty and integrity of India.” Instead he said: “I will bear true faith and allegiance to Constitution of India, minister of state as by law established.”

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There is also confusion whether Mufti took oath as minister of state (junior minister) or minister for state (cabinet minister).

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National Conference general secretary and former state law minister Ali Mohammad Sagar said that as per the Constitution of J&K, the chief minister has to swear allegiance to the Constitution of the state. “We have a special status and we have our own Constitution. It must be respected. Mufti needs to take a fresh oath and all the orders which he has passed after swearing in ceremony are invalid. Otherwise it will look like he has no respect for the Constitution of the state.”

Former state finance minister and six-time MLA Abdul Rahim Rather said, “We have a separate format for oath in our Constitution and if it is not taken correctly then it is invalid and all cabinet decisions are also not valid. He added that being the chief minister, Mufti should have read minister for state and not minister of state. “The chief minister is first among the ministers… he is not minister of state.”

Veteran NC leader and seven-time legislator Mohammad Shafi said, “It is a mistake and the chief minister has to take oath as Minister for the State and not of the State. It needs to be rectified.”

Interestingly, every BJP minister took oath swearing allegiance to the Constitution of the state.

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The PDP has armed itself with a legal opinion by top lawyer Zafar Shah: “It is an immaterial inaccuracy which doesn’t invalidate the subscription of oath. Further, he has signed the correct declaration of oath which is what is important.”

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First published on: 06-03-2015 at 02:57:15 am
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