MHA amends J&K Domicile Law

Ministry of Home Affairs has amended the new domicile law of Jammu and Kashmir, reserving all posts in government service for domiciles of the Union Territory. However, the clause defining J&K domiciles has been retained, meaning anyone who has resided in J&K for 15 years or has studied in the UT for seven years shall be considered a domicile.

The amendment in the domicile law came within two days following resentment across Jammu and Kashmir, particularly among the youth, over opening of government posts for all-India level, while only level-4 posts had been reserved for domiciles of the Union Territory.

With this amendment, now all the government posts have been kept only for domiciles of Jammu and Kashmir though there is no change in residency law i.e. 15 years of minimum stay in the UT to become a domicile.

As per the order, the Department of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh Affairs in Ministry of Home Affairs on Friday amended the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganization (adaption of state laws) order 2020, in exercise of the powers conferred by the Section 96 of the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganization Act 2019.

The amended order reads: “This order may be called Jammu and Kashmir Reorganization (adaption of state laws) second order 2020. It shall come into force with immediate effect.” 

“With immediate effect, the Act mentioned in the schedule to this order until repealed or amended by the competent legislature or other competent authority, have effect, subject to the adaptations and modifications directed by the scheduled of this order,” reads the order from the Union Home Ministry.

In Jammu and Kashmir Civil Services (Decentralization) and Recruitment Act 2020 following sections were amended: “under section 3A (i) in sub-section (1) omit word “deemed to be” and “Carrying a pay scale of not more than level-4 (25500)” and in sub-section (2) omit “Deemed to be and in clause (a) for “have served” substitute “shall have served”. Section 5A has also been amended:“A post carrying a pay scale of not more than level-4 (25500)” substitute “any post”. In Section 8 before clause (ii) add: “(i) is a domicile of Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir.”

However, the clause defining J&K domiciles has been retained.

On April 1, the Union Ministry of Home Affairs made domicile laws for Jammu and Kashmir wherein anyone who has resided for 15 years in the UT or has studied for seven years and appeared in Class 10 and Class 12 examinations in an educational institution located in the Union Territory is a domicile of J&K.

Anyone who is registered as a migrant by the Relief and Rehabilitation Commissioner (Migrants) will also be deemed to be a domicile. The others who can be deemed to be a domicile include children of those central government officials, all-India services officers, officials of public sector undertakings and autonomous bodies of the central government, public sector banks, officials of statutory bodies, central university officials and those of recognised research institutes of the central government who have served in Jammu and Kashmir for 10 years.

Children of those who fulfil any of the conditions or children of such residents of Jammu and Kashmir as reside outside Union Territory in connection with their employment or business or other professional or vocational reasons but their parents fulfil any of the conditions provided in sub-section are also deemed to be domicile of J&K, the notification said.

Before August 5, 2019, when Article 35A was in force, only the permanent residents of J&K were eligible to government jobs in J&K.

After a backlash from all parties in Jammu and Kashmir, including the BJP in Jammu, the Centre is all set to amend the new domicile law announced just days ago. Now, all Govt jobs to be reserved for JK residents only reports my colleague