Delhi Mulls New Law To Protect Land Rights Of J&K Locals

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New Delhi: In a bid to allay the fears of locals, the Centre is likely to bring a new law which will protect the land rights of the people belonging to Jammu and Kashmir, an official said on Friday.

A senior government official privy to the development said the new law will be passed in parliament as election to the newly created Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir is yet to be held.

“Land rights for the locals in Jammu and Kashmir is coming up. Work is on for enacting a new law that will allay all fears of the people of Jammu and Kashmir,” the official said.

Once the legislation is passed by parliament, the fear of losing rights over land will be over in Jammu and Kashmir, the official said.

The fears of Jammu and Kashmir domicile people arose after the abrogation of Article 370 in August 5, 2019, which ended the exclusive rights of the locals over lands or immovable property and jobs.

In April, the Union Home Ministry had reversed its order on new domicile rules for Jammu and Kashmir within a week after the amendment triggered protests in the Valley.

Under the revised order, only domiciled residents of the Union Territory will be eligible to apply for recruitment there.

The fresh order, issued on April 3, made government jobs in the Jammu and Kashmir administration out of bounds for non-residents.

Earlier, in the order issued on March 31, the home ministry had reserved jobs for domiciled residents only in Group D and non-entry gazetted government posts.

This meant that people from any part of the country could apply for jobs in the higher categories.

Under the new definition of domicile for Jammu and Kashmir, a person residing there for at least 15 years will be eligible to be a permanent resident of the Union Territory.

The government notification also extended domicile rights to central government employees who have served in the state for ten years and also to their children.

Before August 5, 2019, when the government abrogated the erstwhile state’s special status given under Article 370 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.

However, the home ministry amended a 2010 legislation the Jammu and Kashmir Civil Services (Decentralisation and Recruitment Act) on March 31 by substituting the term “permanent residents” with “domiciles of Jammu and Kashmir”.

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Press Trust of India

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