J&K domicile rules evoke criticism

National Conference on Tuesday vehemently opposed Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation (Adaptation of State Laws) Order, 2020 and Jammu and Kashmir Grant of Domicile Certificate (Procedure) Rules 2020.

In a statement issued here today, the Party said: “Both the S.O 1229 (E) Domicile law and S.O 166 prescribing the procedure for grant of Domicile Certificate have been made in exercise of power under the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganization Act 2019, which is under challenge in a number of petitions before the Supreme Court and the hearing of these cases before the Constitution Bench of the SC has commenced and is proceeding ahead.

“With the constitutional validity of the Act impugned and the petitions under consideration of the Court, the Government of India in tune with the universally accepted principle of ‘constitutional proprietary’ is under an obligation to desist from exercising powers under the impugned Act including the power to promulgate Domicile law and Rules in question.”

The party said it has taken a principled stand on the floor of the Parliament and outside that the decisions of 5th August 2019 abrogating the special status of Jammu and Kashmir and dividing and downgrading it into two UTs “are unconstitutional, unilateral as also against the federalism which forms the basic structure of the Constitution.”

The party in the statement said that it has pleaded these grounds before the Supreme Court. “The post

5th August events in Jammu and Kashmir also indicate massive public disapproval of the decisions in all the three regions,” it said.

The statement said that though 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”, yet the timing of the Order and Procedure in question is “also grossly inappropriate and unethical inasmuch as when the entire mankind including the people of Jammu and Kashmir is in complete lockdown engaged in battle of survival against Coronavirus, the Government of India has found this as opportune time to push in the measures palpably anti-people and unconstitutional”.

This apart, the party said, the Domicile Order as well as Procedure are “anti people as not only because these are ambiguous and misleading opening floodgates, but these would also push the people with valid state subject certificates to uncertainty and hardship as the benefits would not be available unless they obtain Domicile Certificates under the Rules”.

The Party while reiterating its resolve to continue its struggle through all peaceful means for realisation of political aspirations  of the people of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh, has asked the Government of India to immediately revoke the Domicile Order and Procedure as “these measures will widen the gulf between the people of Jammu and Kashmir and the rest of the country and add to alienation.”

Framing of rules ‘inappropriate’: JKAP

Jammu Kashmir Apni Party (JKAP) on Tuesday termed framing of new Jammu and Kashmir Domicile rules as “inappropriate” and “untimely” in absence of a popular government in J&K.

In a statement issued here, a spokesman of JKAP said the new rules have been framed at a time when the whole country especially Jammu and Kashmir is “battling to reduce the number of deaths caused due to COVID19 pandemic”.

“The timing of framing of these important rules is not only inappropriate but grossly unethical. There is no popular, elected government in place in J&K wherein the legislature could have thoroughly discussed and deliberated upon eligibility criteria for availing domicile credentials,” the JKAP spokesman added.

He demanded that the entire exercise be put on hold till there is an elected government in J&K. “The people in J&K are presently engaged in battle of survival against Coronavirus, and it would be constitutionally and morally indecorous to thrust these rules, framed by bureaucracy, on them,” he observed.

The spokesman reiterated JKAP’s stand to continue with its efforts to get this law revisited in its entirety in order to remove the loopholes till it satisfies the aspirations of people of Jammu and Kashmir.

He said that the JKAP has already made public its stand with regard to Domicile Law and avowed to continue its struggle till the “hostile sections” in the law like, mandatory tenure for non-natives to reside in J&K and cut off dates to qualify for the domicile are “rectified” as per the demands of the people of Jammu and Kashmir.

It’s a betrayal with JK youth: Congress

The  Jammu and Kashmir Pradesh Congress committee(JKPCC)e has said that domicile law “has opened floodgates 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 GA 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 misled 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,” it said.

Mir said the government authorities and the BJP leaders would always assure the people that all their rights shall stand protected, “which came out to be false and fake”.

He said, “Lakhs 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 (sic).”

Mir said thousands of jobs in government, semi govt sectors and JK bank have not been filled up, with a view to make these categories of outsiders to be eligible.

He said the centre government has chosen the lockdown period of Covid – 19, to bring all such changes and introduce all these things against the rights and wishes of overwhelming majority of people in Jammu and Kashmir.

Mir demanded that the rights of local youth to the jobs and land should be fully protected.

Meanwhile, senior Congress leader Prof Saifuddin Soz in a statement said that this order of the UT govt is “illegal and unconstitutional” as the matter is already before the Supreme Court which has constituted a Bench for its hearing.

“I appeal to the people of J&K to organize a strong and sustained democratic and transparent movement for restoration of democratic and constitutional rights of the J&K people,” he said.

Domicile rules aimed to redesign ‘UT’ of J&K:  Tarigami

At a time when the people are seriously concerned over the spread of the coronavirus, the BJP government is busy in “redesigning” the “union territory” of Jammu and Kashmir, CPI(M), General Secretary, Mohammad Yousuf Tarigami in a statement said on Tuesday.

Tarigami said the fresh domicile notification “is extension of the unconstitutional and undemocratic assault carried out by the BJP govt on 5 August 2019.

“Issuing the rules for domicile notification at this crucial time reveals a paranoid mindset of the BJP wilfully violating the democratic aspirations of the people.

“The Modi government clearly lacks an institutional view and suffers from conceptual disarray, which makes it blind with regard to the essence of constitutional commitments when it comes to it dealing with Jammu and Kashmir.

“The government doesn’t have anything substantial to provide to those who have lost jobs during the continued lockdown. It has nothing to offer to the unemployed youth, labourers, daily wagers, artisans and peasants. Instead they are using their energies to divide the ranks of the people on the basis of religion and region to divert the attention from the real issues.”

It’s aimed at further disempowering people: PC

The Peoples Conference (PC) on Tuesday strongly opposed the J&K Reorganization (Adaptation of State Laws) Order, 2020, and the J&K Grant of Domicile Certificate (Procedure) Rules 2020, saying it is “aimed at further disempowering and disenfranchising the people of erstwhile state of J&K”.

In a statement issued here, the party said 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.

The statement added that the new procedures announced for obtaining Domicile Certificates further “negate 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.”

Domicile law against interests of people: Qayoom Wani

Former EJAC President and civil society member Abdul Qayoom Wani has demanded immediate roll back of the Domicile Law.

In a statement issued to local news agency KNS, Wani said that abrogation of article 370 and 35A “is unconstitutional and has not been accepted by the people of Jammu and Kashmir.”

He said that people of JK are being “psychologically tortured”. Wani said the garb of domicile law, the government of India “is hell-bent to change the demography of Jammu and Kashmir at a time when world is in the tragedy of pandemic of Covid 19 and nobody has time to pay attention.”

“Domicile Law is against the political, economic and social interests of people of J&K,” he said.

He reiterated his demand that the government of India should release all leaders and should listen to them instead of issuing “laws on sub judice issues”.

Youth befooled again: Mula Ram

Former Minister Mula Ram expressed resentment against the government issuing fresh domicile notification amid COVID-19 scare.

In a statement issued here on Tuesday, Mula Ram said that the youth of J&K “have been befooled again.”

“It was conveyed that all Jobs in J&K are for the youth of J&K and when they (the youth) would understand that they have been ‘cheated’ again, they will question the bluff of BJP and others who are trying to mislead the youth and claim credit for the change”.

Mula Ram said that at the time of abrogation of special status, “the youth of J&K were given to understand that their exclusive rights to Government jobs would be protected at all costs. Time and again it was repeated by the government authorities and top BJP leadership but unfortunately that came out to be false and youth are betrayed again.”

It’s opened opportunities for outsiders: Chib

DCC Rural President Hari Singh Chib in a statement said that at a time when the people are seriously concerned over the spread of the coronavirus, “the BJP government is busy in redesigning J&K UT”.

He said that the new domicile law has “opened opportunities for outsiders and enabled large number of outside residents to avail all rights at par with people of Jammu and Kashmir”.

He rejected the new Domicile Law in J&K and said the permanent subject holders should only be entitled to jobs.

Chib sought immediately revocation of the Domicile Order and Procedure.

Serious miscarriage of history undone: Jitendra Singh

A serious miscarriage of history has been undone after 70 years with the notification of the new domicile rules by the Jammu and Kashmir administration, Union Minister Jitendra Singh said on Tuesday.

Terming the new rules as dawn of a new era for the Union Territory, he said “history will vindicate us” and prove that this course correction was in keeping with the principle of equality and the norms of a healthy democracy.

“A serious miscarriage of history has been undone after 70 years by the Jammu & Kashmir domicile rules notification,” said Singh, the Minister of State for the Personnel Ministry.

People belonging to West Pakistan, Valmikis, women marrying outside communities, non-registered Kashmiri migrants, displaced people will soon get domicile under a new set of rules issued by the Jammu and Kashmir administration on Monday.

Singh noted that three generations of people of Jammu and Kashmir had been denied their right to live with justice and dignity, and it was heartening to see this redemption happening in this lifetime. This – notification of new rules — will prove to be a blessing for future generations, he said.

The minister also expressed satisfaction that he and some of his contemporaries got an opportunity to be a part of this exercise, if not wholly, at least in a very small measure.

While West Pakistan refugees and displaced persons from Pakistan administered Jammu and Kashmir have been restored their legitimate rights, Singh said discrimination of several decades has been undone and those who are opposing this move are only exposing themselves to the accusation that for the last 70 years they had been thriving on politics of discrimination.

“It is an irony that all India service officers, including IAS and IPS, who devoted 30 to 35 years of their life to serve in Jammu and Kashmir were, at the end of the day, after superannuation, asked to pack up, leave and look for a place elsewhere to settle,” he said.

This was quite in contrast to the arrangement in several states and UTs where the all India service officers of state cadre are not only allowed to settle but are also provided plots of land for the same, said Singh, who represents Jammu and Kashmir’s Udhampur in Lok Sabha.

Similarly, a gross injustice was being done to the children of these officials who did their entire schooling in Jammu and Kashmir but were debarred from applying for admission to higher education institutions there, the minister said.

Singh said, this should be seen as an opportunity for wider exposure and capacity building for children, so that they can prepare themselves to flourish in global India.

“It was an anomaly waiting to be corrected and perhaps it was god’s will that it should get corrected only when Narendra Modi takes over as the prime minister of India,” he said.

Singh also complimented Home Minister Amit Shah for the clarity with which the entire exercise was carried out.

Modi liberated J&K from ‘inhuman laws’: Vibodh

Jammu, May 19: “The new domicile rules gazetted in J&K will bring justice to lakhs of people denied since 1947. This landmark step will extend long due fundamental rights to all refugees including West Pakistan refugees along with women’s of J&K and SC workers settled in the UT from rest of the country”, said BJP J&K general secretary Vibodh Gupta while addressing a press briefing in Jammu.

Explaining the significance of laws enacted under new domicile certificate rules, Vibodh stated that this “welcome step” completely “liberated” J&K from dark shackles of “Kashmiri-centric politics” and marks the advent of new nationalist politics in J&K.

He said that history will cherish it as the second and spirited wave of democracy. He strongly asserted that PM Narendra Modi has “liberated” J&K from the “inhuman, undemocratic and unconstitutional provisions brought by Nehru and Sheikh”.

While responding to the question on Kashmiri Pandits, Vibodh said that new laws are favourable to Kashmiri Hindus living outside J&K to claim domicile now.

On West Pakistan Refugees he said that this will benefit almost 3 lakh families to avail their fundamental rights. “The amended domicile law has also enrolled provisions for West Pakistan refugees displaced in other parts of the country”, he added.

Vibodh praised the Prime Minister for the “historic and bold step delivering equality and dignity to all which was denied by NC, PDP and Congress for self-interest under their regime for decades”.

He said, “BJP government has executed its vows”. He greeted LG Girish Chandra for his efforts to include all-inclusive laws in the new domicile.