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Granting Domicile to Outsiders Aimed at Disempowering J&K Residents Politically, Economically: NC

File photo of NC leader and former Jammu and Kashmir CM Omar Abdullah.

File photo of NC leader and former Jammu and Kashmir CM Omar Abdullah.

NC vice president and former chief minister of the erstwhile state Omar Abdullah said the people of Jammu and Kashmir will be the sufferers of these new domicile rules.

  • PTI Srinagar
  • Last Updated: June 26, 2020, 7:26 PM IST
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The National Conference on Friday opposed the "unconstitutional and anti-people process" of grant of domicile certificates to the people not originally from Jammu and Kashmir, saying the measure is aimed at disempowering the permanent residents politically and economically.

The party demanded immediate revocation of the domicile order and rules by the Centre.

NC vice president and former chief minister of the erstwhile state Omar Abdullah said the people of Jammu and Kashmir will be the sufferers of these new domicile rules.

"All our misgivings about the new domicile rules in J&K are coming to the fore. We in @JKNC_ opposed the changes because we could see the nefarious design behind the changes. The people of J&K on both sides of the Pir Panjal mountains will be the sufferers of these domicile rules," he said in a Tweet.

The government notified the Jammu and Kashmir Grant of Domicile Certificate (Procedure) Rules, 2020, on May 18 this year and allowed different categories of non-locals, including non-local government employees, to register for domicile certificates.

As per the new domicile law, non-permanent residents who have residency proof of at least 15 years in J-K are entitled to get domicile certificates.

Prior to the nullification of Article 370 and Article 35A, only state subjects were allowed to buy land and apply for government jobs in Jammu and Kashmir.

National Conference chief spokesperson Aga Syed Ruhullah Mehdi said the party reiterates its opposition to Jammu and Kashmir Grant of Domicile Certificate (Procedure) Rules 2020.

Mehdi, in a statement, said the party unequivocally rejects the "unconstitutional and anti-people process of grant of domicile certificates to outsiders" and demanded immediate revocation of the domicile order and rules.

"All the misgivings raised after the domicile laws were changed in J-K are coming to fore with J-K government's issuance of domicile certificates to non-residents of J-K. The first and foremost casualty of this process will be our jobs and the land holdings which were earlier reserved for the permanent residents of J-K irrespective of their religion or region," the NC chief spokesperson said.

He said the measure is aimed at disempowering the permanent residents politically and economically.

"Domicile Order and Rules will never be acceptable at any point of time because the measures are aimed at disempowering the people of Jammu and Kashmir. Its implementation will push people with valid state subject certificates to uncertainty and unnecessary hardship," Mehdi said.

He said the procedure for grant of domicile certificate is made in exercise of power under the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganization Act 2019, challenged in a number of petitions before the Supreme Court, and the hearing before the Constitution Bench 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," Mehdi said.

He said the NC has taken a principled stand on the floor of Parliament and outside that the decisions of August 5, 2019 -- taking away special status and constitutional guarantees available to Jammu and Kashmir and dividing and downgrading the state -- are "unconstitutional and unilateral".

"The Government of India should immediately revoke the Domicile Order and Rules," he demanded.

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