Centre Defines New Domicile Rule For J&K

Domicile rules were announced while Kashmir remained under a strict lockdown due to raging pandemic- KO Photo by Abid

New Delhi: Nearly eight months after withdrawal of Jammu and Kashmir's special status, the central government on Wednesday laid down rules for domicile and incorporated anyone who has resided in the Union Territory for 15 years or has studied for seven years.

The provisions were made through a gazette notification, titled the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganization (Adaptation of State Laws) Order-2020, in which 138 laws of the erstwhile state were scrutinised and changed or repealed.

One of the Acts amended was the Jammu and Kashmir Civil Services (Decentralisation and Recruitment) in which a clause for domicile category was introduced under which jobs up to Group-4 in the government were protected.

Under the new law, anyone who has resided for 15 years in Jammu and Kashmir or has studied for seven years and appeared in Class 10 and Class 12 examinations in an educational institution located in the Union Territory is a domicile.

Anyone who is registered as a migrant by the Relief and Rehabilitation Commissioner (Migrants) will also be deemed to be a domicile. Children of all-India services personnel who have served there for 10 years also come under the category.

The others who can be deemed to be a domicile include children of those central government officials, all-India services officers, officials of PSU and autonomous bodies of the central government, public sector banks, officials of statutory bodies, central university officials and those of recognised research institutes of the central government who have served in Jammu and Kashmir for 10 years.

Children of those who fulfill any of the conditions or children of such residents of Jammu and Kashmir who reside outside the Union Territory in connection with their employment or business or other professional or vocational reasons but their parents fulfill any of the conditions provided in sub-section are also considered domicile, the notification said.

The law has empowered Tehsildars within their territorial jurisdiction to issue domicile certificates. The government of J&K UT has also been empowered to notify any other officer to be Competent Authority for issuance of domicile certificate.

The government also protected jobs up to Group-4 for domicile of the union territory and said no person shall be eligible for appointment to a post carrying a pay scale of not more than Group-4 (Rs 25,500) unless he is a domicile of the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir.

Group-4 is equivalent to the rank of constable in police parlance and multi-tasking staff.

As many as 28 of the 138 Acts have been repealed as the government laid down a procedure for being a domicile of the Union Territory, which came into existence on October 31, 2019, after the Centre abrogated special status to the erstwhile state and bifurcated it into UTs of Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh.

Before August 5 2019 – when the government abrogated the region’s special status under Article 370 of the Constitution and divided it into two Union Territories – the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly was constitutionally empowered to define a resident of the erstwhile state. These defined residents were alone eligible to apply for jobs or own immovable property.

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