Jammu: In another late evening order amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the Government of India has notified rules for the domicile law that was passed on the night of 31 March. The rules have laid down the procedures for non-locals from other states to obtain domicile rights in Jammu and Kashmir.
Non-local residents can now apply for domicile certificates under domicile law to become eligible for rights to ownership of immovable property and government jobs in Jammu and Kashmir following amendments in the Jammu and Kashmir Civil Services (Decentralization and Recruitment) Act, 2010.
As laid down in the domicile law, besides the natives who possess the erstwhile Permanent Residence Certificates (PRC), the Jammu and Kashmir Grant of Domicile Certificate (Procedure) Rules, 2020 allow for four categories of non-locals who are now eligible for domicile rights allowing them property rights and appointment to government jobs.
The categories include those persons and their children who have lived in J-K for at least 15 years or have studied for seven years and appeared in class 10th or 12th examinations in J-K; the children of employees of the central government and its undertakings who have lived in J-K for a period of ten years; migrants and their children registered with the Relief and Rehabilitation Commissioner; children of permanent residents who reside outside J-K owing to economic reasons.
The rules laid down by the Government of India provide for a quick and time bound procedure for the issuance of domicile certificates to non-locals. The rules allow for online application and receipt of the domicile certificates within a period of 15 days.
In the case of non-issuance of domicile certificates, the Appellate Authorities shall issue binding orders to the issuing authorities – the Tehsildars, Relief and Rehabilitation Commissioner for migrants, and senior officials of the General Administration Department – to be implemented within a week and in case of further con-compliance fine the officials a heft penalty of Rs. 50,000.
However, children born in Jammu and Kashmir after 31 October 2019, a domicile certificate would be issued upon furnishing a birth certificate and the parents’ Permanent Resident Certificate (PRC). Kashmiri migrants can get the Domicile certificate on production of either a PRC or Certificate of registration of migrant.
For those displaced persons who have not registered with the relief department, the government has notified a special limited provision to apply before the Relief & Rehabilitation Commissioner for Migrants, specifically for registration for the purpose of issuance of a domicile certificate.
Such migrants, however, would have to furnish either a 1951/1988 electoral roll, proof of employment, ownership of property, proof of registration in other states/UTs as a migrant or a displaced person or any other documentation which would have made him/her eligible for grant of PRC before 06 August 2019.
The domicile law has now enabled the West Pakistan Refugee and Dalits of the Jammu region and the children of women PRC holders married outside J-K to be eligible for domicile certificate and associated rights.
The People’s Democratic Party’s spokesperson, Suhail Bukhari, in a statement said that the Government of India was deterred from its “disempowerment project for J-K” during the pandemic. “Orders like the one on domicile certificates don’t settle anything, neither do they cover up the August 5, fraud,” said Bukhari. “The demographic change and disenfranchisement will further complicate the J&K issue which has claimed thousands of lives so far.”