The Indian government, in an unprecedented move has notified new rules for non-locals to obtain permanent residency status in the disputed state of Jammu and Kashmir. According to new law, those eligible for domicile rights will be allowed to gain property rights and appointment to government jobs. The announcement came in an evening notification on Monday.
In April, the Mehbooba Mufti-led Peoples Democratic Party on had alleged that the Centre’s new domicile law would increase the problems for the residents of Jammu and Kashmir. Contending that this move had deprived the Kashmiris of their constitutional rights, the PDP claimed that people would be alienated even more. Moreover, it accused the Union government of taking away the right of the local J&K leaders to govern their territory.
The four categories of such non locals who will be eligible to permanent residency in J & K 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 new laws allow online application and receipt of the domicile certificates within a period of 15 days.
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 concerned agencies, the government has notified a special limited provision for them to apply before the Relief & Rehabilitation Commissioner for Migrants, specifically for registration for the purpose of issuance of a domicile certificate.
Interestingly, the new domicile law enables the refugees from Pakistan and to be eligible for domicile certificate and associated rights.