Outsiders Can Now Buy Land in Jammu, Kashmir & Ladakh

29Shares

An aerial view of Srinagar – File Photo

Centre notifies Jammu and Kashmir land laws, omits ‘permanent resident’ as criteria

Srinagar: In a significant move, the Centre has paved the way for people from across India to buy land in Jammu and Kashmir by amending several laws, more than a year after the nullification of Articles 370 and 35A of the Constitution.

In a gazette notification in Hindi and English, the Ministry of Home Affairs has made several changes to the land laws, including allowing use of agricultural land for setting up facilities of public purpose.

“With immediate effect, the Acts mentioned in the Schedule to this Order shall, until repealed or amended by a competent Legislature or other competent authority, have effect, subject to the adaptations and modifications directed by the said Schedule, or if it is so directed, shall stand repealed,” read the order.

The General Clauses Act, 1897 applies for the interpretation of this current Order since it applies for interpretation of laws in force in India, said the order. Meanwhile 12 state laws have been repealed as a whole.

Meanwhile those legislations which are being repealed as whole include the Jammu and Kashmir Alienation Of Land Act (V of Samvat 1995), the Jammu and Kashmir Big Landed Estates Abolition Act (XVII Samvat 2007), The Jammu and Kashmir Common Lands (Regulation) Act, 1956, the Jammu and Kashmir Consolidation Of Holdings Act, 1962, among others.

The most important tweak has been made in the Jammu and Kashmir Development Act that deals with disposal of land in the union territory as the Centre has omitted the phrase “permanent resident of the state” from Section 17 of the law.

Before the repeal of Article 370 and Article 35-A in August last year, non-residents could not buy any immovable property in Jammu and Kashmir. However, the fresh changes have paved the way for non-residents to buy land in the union territory.

LG’s ASSURANCE

Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha told reporters that the amendments did not allow transfer of agricultural land to non-agriculturists.

However, there are several exemptions in the Act which enable transfer of agricultural land for non-agricultural purposes, including setting up of educational or health care facilities.

Former Advocate General Mohammad Ishaq Qadri said the amendments have opened floodgates for people from outside Jammu and Kashmir to buy land. “Now there is no legal bar on purchase of land here by outsiders,” he said.

PAGD REACTS
The People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD) — an amalgam of seven mainstream parties in Jammu and Kashmir — condemned the changes in the land laws and vowed to fight these on all fronts.

National Conference leader Omar Abdullah said the amendments were unacceptable.

“Unacceptable amendments to the land ownership laws of JK. Even the tokenism of domicile has been done away with when purchasing non-agricultural land and transfer of agricultural land has been made easier. JK is now up for sale and the poorer small land holding owners will suffer,” he tweeted.

PDP president Mehbooba Mufti said it was a step to “disenfranchise” the people of Jammu and Kashmir. “Yet another step that’s part of GOI’s nefarious designs to disempower & disenfranchise people of JK. From the unconstitutional scrapping of Article 370 to facilitating loot of our natural resources and finally putting land in JK up for sale,” she tweeted.

The notification has replaced Section 30 and Part VII of the State Land Acquisition Act of 1990 with the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013.

The other major laws repealed by the notification includes the J&K Big Landed Estates (abolition) Act, a landmark act brought in by Sheikh Abdullah that gave land rights to landless tillers.

The JK Alienation of Land Act, 1995, the JK Common Lands (regulation) Act, 1956 and the JK Consolidation of Holdings Act, 1962 were also repealed.

Other laws to be repealed are the J&K Prevention of Fragmentation of Agricultural Holdings Act, 1960; JK Prohibition on Conversion of Land and Alienation of Orchards Act, 1975; the JK Right of Prior Purchase ACT, 1936 A.D; Section 3 of the J&K Tenancy (Stay of Ejectment Proceedings) Act 1966; the JK Utilisation of Land Act, 2010; and the J&K Underground Utilities (Acquisition of rights of user in land) Act.

The notification also maintains that government on the written request of an Army officer not below the rank of Corp Commander may declare an area as “strategic area” within a local area, only for direct operational and training requirements of armed forces, which may be excluded from the operation of this Act and rules and regulations made there under in the manner and to the extent.

Before repeal of Article 370 and Article 35-A in August last year, non-residents could not buy any immovable property in Jammu and Kashmir. However, the fresh changes have paved the way for non-residents to buy land in the union territory.

Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha told reporters that the amendments did not allow transfer of agricultural land to non-agriculturists.

However, there are several exemptions in the Act which enable transfer of agricultural land for non-agricultural purposes, including setting up of educational or health care facilities.

GOI Repeals 11 More J&K Laws

Earlier the Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India, on Tuesday repealed 11 more laws of Jammu and Kashmir.

The announcement was made by Ministry of Home Affairs as per its order to be called the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation (Adaptation of Central Laws) Third Order, 2020.The legislations repealed as whole include the Jammu and Kashmir Alienation Of Land Act (V of Samvat 1995), the Jammu and Kashmir Big Landed Estates Abolition Act ( XVII Samvat 2007) , The Jammu and Kashmir Common Lands (Regulation) Act, 1956, the Jammu and Kashmir Consolidation Of Holdings Act, 1962, the Jammu and Kashmir Flood Plain Zones (Regulation and Development) Act, the Jammu and Kashmir Land Improvement Schemes Act ( Xxiv Of 1972), the Jammu and Kashmir Prevention Of Fragmentation Of Agricultural Holdings Act, the Jammu and Kashmir Prohibition On Conversion Of Land and Alienation Of Orchards Act ; the Jammu and Kashmir Right Of Prior Purchase, Act [ ii of svt. 1993 (1936 A.d.)], the Jammu and Kashmir Tenancy (Stay Of Ejectment Proceedings) Act ( Xxxiii Of 1966), the Jammu and Kashmir Utilization Of Lands Act ( Ix Of Samvat 2010) and the Jammu and Kashmir Underground Public Utilities (Acquisition Of Rights Of User In Land) Act ( Iv Of 2014).

The government said the repeal or amendment of any law shall not affect the previous operation of any law so repealed or anything duly done or suffered thereunder; any right, privilege, obligation or liability acquired, accrued or incurred under any law so repealed; any penalty, forfeiture or punishment incurred in respect of any offence committed against any law so repealed and any investigation, legal proceeding or remedy in respect of any such right, privilege, obligation, liability, penalty, forfeiture or punishment as aforesaid, and any such investigation, legal proceeding or remedy may be instituted, continued or enforced, and any such penalty, forfeiture or punishment may be imposed, as if the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, 2019 or this Order had not been passed or issued.

Be Part of Quality Journalism

Quality journalism takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce and despite all the hardships we still do it. Our reporters and editors are working overtime in Kashmir and beyond to cover what you care about, break big stories, and expose injustices that can change lives. Today more people are reading Kashmir Observer than ever, but only a handful are paying while advertising revenues are falling fast.

ACT NOW
MONTHLYRs 100
YEARLYRs 1000
LIFETIMERs 10000

CLICK FOR DETAILS


Press Trust of India

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

KO SUPPLEMENTS