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Union Government Redefines J&K Domicile Rules

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Table of contents-

  • Brief overview
  • Changes in Domicile Rules
  • Who can be Domicile Under New Rules
  • Potential Implications of the New Rules

Brief Overview

On April 2, The Union government has made changes in Domicile rules that will allow Indians from across the country to apply for local government jobs in Jammu & Kashmir.

The decision comes eight months after the government revoked Article 370 and Article 35A stripping Jammu & Kashmir of its special status, revoked its statehood and bifurcated it into two union territories.

Details

In the first week of April, the central government introduced a new definition of domicile in the union territory through the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation (Adaptation of State Laws) Order, 2020.

The new definition allows all Indian citizens to apply for government jobs in J&K if they fulfil certain conditions

Through its order, the government also repealed 29 laws and amended 109 others

(The rest of the laws exclusive to J&K and its constitution ceased to exist when Article 370 was scrapped.)

The laws, notified in 1927 and 1932, defined citizenship, property rights, and privileges of state subjects.

When Jammu & Kashmir acceded to India, these laws were preserved under Articles 370 and 35A of the Constitution, which restricted local property rights, government jobs and scholarships to permanent residents.

Outlining the definition of a permanent resident was also the sole mandate of the state legislature.

Until last year, J&K enjoyed a special status under the constitutional provisions of Article 370 and 35A, which didn’t allow anyone from the rest of India to obtain domicile status there.

This meant outsiders couldn’t apply for jobs in the local government (this rule didn’t apply to central government postings) or own property there.

However, both these provisions were scrapped on 5 August last year.

Changes in Domicile Rules

The domicile rule makes all local government jobs available to non-natives, including those in police and administration.

Who can be domiciled or employed in J&K?

The new rule only reserves non-gazetted class four jobs for Jammu & Kashmir natives.

It also lists certain conditions one should fulfil to qualify as a domicile applicant

— applicants should have

  • Resided in J&K for 15 years, or
  • Studied in the state for seven years and appeared in either the Class 10 or the Class 12 examination there.

Children of central government officers, and employees of public sector undertakings and banks, central universities etc. who have served in Jammu & Kashmir for 10 years will also be eligible to apply for gazetted and non-gazetted government jobs. These included those who work outside the state.

Migrants registered by the Relief and Rehabilitation Commissioner need not fulfil the aforementioned requirements and will automatically be eligible for a domicile certificate.

Potential Implications Due to the New Domicile Rules

So far the J&K Administrative set-up has been dominated by Natives as the previous rules didn’t allow for any other state resident to obtain domicile status.

As a result of the new changes, the Potential implication is in the changes of the erstwhile state’s administrative set-up, which is now open to non-natives.

This may lead to changes in administrative decisions as a result.