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Domicile rules for J&K

Topics Covered: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.

Domicile rules for J&K

What to study?

For Prelims: Overview of new rules, comparison with old rules.

For Mains: Significance and implications, concerns associated.

 Context: The MHA amended a 2010 legislation, the Jammu and Kashmir Civil Services (Decentralisation and Recruitment Act), by substituting the term “permanent residents” with “domiciles of UT [Union Territory] of J&K.”

It has redefined domicile through Jammu and Kashmir Reorganization (Adaption of state laws) order, 2020 issued under section 96 of Jammu & Kashmir Reorganisation Act, 2019.

What did the 2010 Act say?

The 2010 Act pertained to employment in the Civil Services comprising “district, divisional and State” cadre posts. Earlier, only permanent residents of J&K were eligible to apply for gazetted and non-gazetted posts.

 The changes:

The domicile rules as defined under the amended order will determine recruitment to all government posts in J&K from now on.

The power to issue domicile certificates has been vested in the tehsildar (revenue officer).

Definition of domiciles:

  1. The order defines domiciles as anyone “who has resided for a period of 15 years in the UT of J&K or has studied for a period of seven years and appeared in Class 10th/12th examination in an educational institution located in the UT of J&K or who is registered as a migrant by the Relief and Rehabilitation Commissioner (Migrants)”.
  2. It said that children of central government officials including the all India services, public sector units, autonomous body of Centre, Public Sector Banks, officials of statutory bodies, central universities and recognised research institutes of the Centre who have served in J&K for a “total period of 10 years” will be domiciles.
  3. The domicile status also applies to “children of such residents of J&K who reside outside J&K in connection with their employment or business or other professional or vocational reasons but their parents should fulfil any of the conditions provided”.

What are the rules for grant of domicile certificate?

  • The certificate has to be issued within 15 days. The officer not able to do so will be penalised ₹50,000 of his or her salary.
  • Residents of J&K who live outside the erstwhile State can get domicile certificates by simply producing their Permanent Residence Certificate (PRC), ration card copy, voter card or any other valid document.
  • Those migrants not registered with the Relief and Rehabilitation department can do so by providing documents such as electoral rolls of 1988, proof of registration as a migrant in any State in the country or any other valid document.
  • There is a provision to get the certificate online too.

Implications of new rules:

  • It will allow West Pakistan refugees and children of women who married non-locals to apply for jobs in J&K.
  • According to MHA’s reply to a parliamentary panel on February 18, there are over 84,000 vacancies in J&K of which 22,078 vacancies pertain to Class IV employees, 54,375 to non-gazettted, and 7,552 vacancies are at the gazetted level.

Why is the policy being opposed?

Opponents say “the changes are aimed at changing the demography” of J&K. The amended domicile law was made in exercise of power under the J&K Reorganization Act 2019 that has been challenged in a number of petitions before the Supreme Court of India.

InstaThink:

Prelims Link:

  1. Articles 370 and 35A.
  2. Who are domiciles as per the new definition?
  3. Overflow J&K Reorganisation Act, 2019.
  4. Power to issue domicile certificates.
  5. Jammu and Kashmir Reorganization (Adaption of state laws) order, 2020.

Mains Link:

The MHA amended a 2010 legislation, the Jammu and Kashmir Civil Services (Decentralisation and Recruitment Act), by substituting the term “permanent residents” with “domiciles of UT [Union Territory] of J&K.” Discuss the significance and implications of this move.

Sources: the Hindu.