No changes in domicile, Centre amends rule to reserve govt jobs

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The Central government has amended the new domicile rule for the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir issued two days back and reserved all the government jobs exclusively for the domiciles.

The move came after scathing backlash from all the regional political parties, especially Bharatiya Janata Party’s Jammu wing. In the amendment called as “the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation (Adaptation of State Laws) Second Order, 2020”, passed a while ago, Centre removes the section of having reserving only Level 4 jobs to domiciles and keeping all other jobs open to everyone. It keeps all the government jobs reserved for the domicile persons of the Union Territory by replacing “a post carrying a pay scale of not more than Level-4 (25500)” with “any post” in section 5A of the previous order.

The order, however, doesn’t change the definition of domicile.

Earlier, only jobs up to the lowest level of non-gazetted rank were exclusively reserved for those, as per the new rule, who have resided in J-K for a period of 15 years, and children of all central government employees who have served for a 10-year period in the UT. Now, with new order all government jobs will be reserved to the domicile of the UT.

On 5 August 2019, the Central government passed the J-K Reorganisation Bill and broke down the erstwhile state into two UTs. It also abrogated article 35A, which granted powers of defining a permanent resident of J-K to the state assembly. The right to own property and several other benefits of government jobs and schemes were exclusive to the “state subjects”, or the permanent resident of J-K. An unprecedented clampdown was also imposed with communication blackout in place.

On Tuesday, the new domicile law substitutes “permanent resident of the state” with “Domicile of Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir”, the official notification states that it is for purpose of appointment to any service in UT of J-K.

The domicile would also be given to people registered as a migrant by the Relief and Rehabilitation Commissioner (Migrants) in the UT of J-K. “Children of such residents of J&K as reside outside UT of J&K in connection with their employment or business or other professional or vocational reasons” but their parents fulfil any of the conditions provided earlier.

The gazette notification adds that “children of those central government officials, all India services officers, officials of PSUs and autonomous body of central government, public sector banks, officials of statutory bodies, officials of central universities and recognised research institutes of central government who have served in Jammu and Kashmir for a total period of ten years or children on parents who fulfil any of the conditions in sections.”

On 31 October 2019, the state of J-K was officially broken down into two union territories. The first draft of the bill implemented 106 central laws in the UT of J-K and UT of Ladakh; amended seven state laws and repealed 153 existing state acts and eleven governor’s acts. This notification further repealed 29 more state laws and amended 109 others.

The provisions of the Act authorise the Tehsildar as competent authority for issuing the domicile certificate. Any agrieved person may file appeal before the concerned Deputy Commissioner who shall decide appeal, providing an opportunity of being heard to the parties, within a period of sixty days.

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