4 Jun 2020

Domicile law for Jammu and Kashmir3 min read

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Source: The Hindu

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In news: The J&K administration has notified the J&K grant of domicile certificate procedure rules, 2020

Static dimensions: Old law 

Current dimensions:

  • Provisions of the new law
  • Analysis- Importance and Criticisms

Content:

Old law:

  • The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) recently issued the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation (Adaptation of State Laws) Order, 2020 by publishing a gazette notification.
  • It amended 109 laws and repealed 29 laws of the erstwhile State.
  • It amended a 2010 legislation, the Jammu and Kashmir Civil Services (Decentralisation and Recruitment Act), by substituting the term “permanent residents” with “domiciles of UT of J&K.”

2010 Act:

  • The 2010 Act pertained to employment in the Civil Services comprising “district, divisional and State” cadre posts.
  • Earlier, only permanent residents of J&K were eligible to apply for gazetted and non-gazetted posts.
  • The J&K Legislature decided the “permanent residents”, prohibiting a non-J&K resident from buying property there and ensuring job reservation for its residents.

Provisions of the new law:

  • The order says the domiciles will be eligible “for the purposes of appointment to any post carrying a pay scale of not more than Level 4.” ((The Level 4 post comprises positions such as gardeners, barbers, office peons and waterman and the highest rank in the category is that of a junior assistant)). 
  • The amendment allows non-domiciles also to apply to these posts.
  • The reservation for domiciles would not apply to Group A and Group B posts, and like other UTs, recruitment would be done by the UPSC.
  • The order defines “domiciles” as anyone
    1. who has resided for a period of 15 years in the UT of J&K or
    2. has studied for a period of seven years and appeared in Class 10th/12th examination in an educational institution located in the UT of J&K or 
    3. who is registered as a migrant by the Relief and Rehabilitation Commissioner (Migrants)
    4. Children of central government officials including the all India services, public sector units, autonomous body of Centre, Public Sector Banks, officials of statutory bodies, central universities and recognised research institutes of the Centre who have served in J&K for a “total period of 10 years” 
    5. Children of such residents of J&K who reside outside J&K in connection with their employment or business or other professional or vocational reasons but their parents fulfil any of the conditions provided.
  • It allows West Pakistan refugees, safai karamcharis and children of women who married non-locals to apply for jobs in J&K.
  • Kashmiri migrants living in or outside J&K can get domicile certificates by simply producing their Permanent Residence Certificate (PRC), ration card copy, voter card or any other valid document.
  • Those migrants not registered with the Relief and Rehabilitation department can do so by providing documents such as electoral rolls of 1988, proof of registration as a migrant in any State in the country or any other valid document. 
  • The power to issue domicile certificates has been vested in the tehsildar (revenue officer).
  • Applicants can apply electronically and even get a certificate online.

Analysis:

  • Domicile certificates have now been made a basic eligibility condition for appointment to any post under the Union Territory of J&K. 
  • People who left J&K or were forced to leave their homeland from 1931 onwards, will now be the beneficiaries.
  • The new rules provide a simple time-bound and transparent procedure for issuance of domicile certificates with a timeline of 15 days for issuance of certificates. 
  • Any officer not able to issue the certificate would be penalised ₹50,000. 
  • Over 84,000 vacancies available in J&K can be filled now as the rules provide ample opportunities to people to take up jobs in J&K.

 Criticisms:

  • The main political parties of the state have blamed the rules saying that it is aimed at changing the demography of J&K. 
  • As the new law allows several outsiders to avail domicile certificates, thousands of the labour force, construction workers and traders from various states who had been staying in J&K would be eligible for government jobs. It is feared that the demographic change and disenfranchisement will further complicate the J&K issue.
  • The Government has pushed in the measures when the people of J&K are in complete lockdown engaged in a battle of survival against COVID 19.

Mould your thought: Critically analyse the J&K domicile certificate procedure rules, 2020.

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