Wahid Bhat | Srinagar
The Jammu & Kashmir government on Monday issued a notification specifying the conditions for obtaining domicile certificates necessary for applying for government jobs and other privileges in the Union Territory. The domicile rules notified now replace the erstwhile J&K permanent resident rules that stood abrogated along with the abrogation of Articles 370 and 35A.
The notification has been issued in exercise of powers confirmed by Article 309 of the Constitution of India read with section 15 of the Jammu & Kashmir Civil Services (Decentralisation and Recruitment) Act, 2010. The details of the notification were shared with the media by government spokesman Rohit Kansal at a press conference.
According to the new rules, all those holding the permanent resident certificates of the erstwhile J&K state are eligible to get the domicile certificates from the designated authority which in all cases are tehsildars of different areas in J&K or other officials those may be notified by the government.
“Those in possession of the permanent resident certificates do not need any other document to get the domicile certificate. A person who has resided in the Union Territory for 15 years or studied in Jammu & Kashmir for seven years and has appeared in class 10th/12th examination in an educational institution located in Jammu & Kashmir.
“Or who is registered as a migrant by the relief and rehabilitation commissioner (Migrants) in the union territory of Jammu and Kashmir as per the procedure prescribed by the government for migrants and displaced persons.
“Or who is a child of a central government official, all India services officers, officials of public sector undertakings and autonomous body of central government, public sector banks, officials of statutory bodies, officials of central universities and recognised research institutes of the central government who have served in the UT of Jammu & Kashmir for a total period of 10 years are eligible to get domicile certificates”, the spokesman said.
He also said a child of parents who are resident outside the UT of Jammu & Kashmir in connection with their employment or business or other professional or vocational reasons but who fulfil any of the conditions described in clauses (a) or (b) of the notification is also eligible for domicile certificates.
“To make the entire process transparent the designated authority will have to issue the certificate within 15 days of receiving the application. There is also an appellate authority that will dispose of appeals against the decision of the designated authority within a period of seven days,” the spokesman said.
“A designated officer shall be bound by the decision of the appellate authority failing which a penalty of Rs 50,000 will be imposed on the designated official and this will be recovered from his/her salary”, Kansal said.
Parties reject new domicile law
Political parties in Jammu & Kashmir on Tuesday rejected the domicile rules unveiled by the administration of the Union Territory. In separate statements, National Conference, Peoples Democratic Party, Peoples Conference and other parties opposed the rules, saying they are aimed at demography of Jammu and Kashmir.
In a statement, National Conference said it has taken a principled stand on the floor of the Parliament and outside that the decisions of 5th August 2019 taking away special status and constitutional guarantees available to Jammu and Kashmir and dividing and downgrading the State are unconstitutional, unilateral as also against the federalism, the basic structure of the Constitution.
“The Party has pleaded these grounds before the Court. The post 5th August events in Jammu and Kashmir also indicate massive public disapproval of the decisions in all the three regions,” the party said.
The party said the Domicile Order and Rules would not be acceptable at any point of time because of well -known stand of the party that the measures are aimed at disempowering the people of Jammu and Kashmir and effecting demographic change.
“The timing of the Order and Procedure in question is also grossly inappropriate and unethical in as much as when entire mankind including the people of Jammu and Kashmir are in complete lockdown engaged in battle of survival against Coronavirus, the Government of India has found this opportune time to push in the measures, palpably anti people and unconstitutional,” it said.
The Peoples Democratic Party said it will resist attempts to change demography of Jammu and Kashmir through all democratic and peaceful means. “Even a pandemic is no deterrent for the GOI to continue with its disempowerment project for JK.
Orders like the one on domicile certificates don’t settle anything, neither do they cover up the August 5, fraud. The demographic change and disenfranchisement will further complicate the J&K issue which has claimed thousands of lives so far. This will be resisted through all democratic, peaceful means,” the party said.
Peoples Conference also opposed the rules, saying the new procedures announced for obtaining domicile certificates further negates the sensitive and cherished aspect of sub identity which the residents of J&K have zealously guarded for decades.
“There is enough empirical evidence across the world that such changes thrust against the wishes of people have a limited shelf- life. One fails to understand why the government is in a state of denial and obstinate in not accepting the reality as it exists. It will better for the government of the day to accept realities and reverse unconditionally the constitutional depredation that it resorted to on August 5,” the party said.
The statement reads that at a time when countries and societies across the world are focused on fighting the deadly pandemic, the people of J&K have to additionally endure psychological torture in the wake of orders issued at frequent intervals informing them and reminding them of their disempowered status. “Issuing order after order in COVID times will not change the reality on the ground. The reality as it stares at us is that people have not accepted the decisions of August 5”, PC spokesperson said.
Jammu and Kashmir Pradesh Congress committee(JKPCC) has said that domicile law has opened flood gates for outsiders and enabled large number of outside residents to avail and share all the rights at par with original natives and residents of Jammu and Kashmir, contrary to repeated claims and assurances, during and post abrogation of Special Status.
In a statement JKPCC Chief G.A. Mir termed it a betrayal with the people especially youth of J and K, who were promised complete protection of rights to jobs and land, even post abrogation of art 370.
The ruling BJP time and again mislead and befooled those who opposed the abrogation of Special Status to allow the outside people to become eligible for all limited government jobs and land as well all other resources, hitherto availed by the locals of J and K. The government Authorities and BJP leaders would always assure the people that their all such rights shall stand protected, which came out to be false and fake. G.A. Mir said.
He said Lacs of people including their descendants from those included in the categories of domicile especially those having no ancestral linkages or a rightful claim, would be eligible for all available Government jobs and in future also , on the strength of having domicile right based on fifteen years of stay here, or any of their parents having served for a total of ten years or others having studied here for seven years.
Mir said thousands of jobs in Govt , semi govt sectors and Jk banks have not been filled up, with a view to make these categories of Outsiders to be eligible.
Pakistan furious over new rules
Pakistan has termed India’s new residency rules in Jammu and Kashmir as “illegal” and has alleged that this is a clear violation of the agreement between the two countries and the UN resolutions. Have been living for 15 years or have studied there for seven years and have passed the 10th or 12th examinations from any educational institution of the Union Territory, all of them are residents Areas are eligible.
The Foreign Office said, “The new residency rule is illegal and violates the respective resolutions of the UN Security Council, international law including the Fourth Geneva Agreement and bilateral agreements between India and Pakistan.” It also alleged that the purpose of the residency rule The demographic structure of the valley has to change.
BJP calls it historical step
The Bharatiya Janata Party welcomed the new domicile rules notified in Jammu and Kashmir. BJP National President Jagat Prakash Nadda said these rules will give “long overdue” rights to all refugees, as well as to Kashmiri Pandits who live outside the Union Territory.
“The new domicile rules gazetted in J&K are a welcome step,” Nadda tweeted. “This will give the long due rights to all refugees incl those from West Pak[istan], SC workers from rest of India settled in J&K for decades, children of KPs living outside J&K to claim domicile now.”
According to the new rules, people who came from West Pakistan, persons of the Valmiki caste, women marrying outside their community, non-registered Kashmiri migrants and displaced individuals will soon get a Jammu and Kashmir domicile. The provision applies to any person who is registered as a migrant by the Jammu and Kashmir relief and rehabilitation commissioner for migrants.
BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra said that the Jammu and Kashmir administration has now notified the new housing rules. He said, “The new rules regarding domicile notified will now remove the earlier rules relating to permanent residents of Jammu and Kashmir which were repealed with the repeal of the provisions of Article 370 and Article 35A. India has been waiting for this for a long time. “
Fail to issue domicile certificate, 50000 penalty
Jammu and Kashmir administration will impose a penalty of Rs 50,000 on designated officials who fail to issue domicile certificates within seven days of resolving of disputes, angering people of the Valley who view such a push as an attempt to change the region’s demography and “disempower” them the telegraph reported.
The fine is part of the rules framed by the fledgling Union Territory’s administration led by Lt Governor G.C. Murmu that were made public on Tuesday evening.