Land rights no more a privilege for J&K residents


Won’t impact agricultural land: Manoj Sinha

Land laws hostile, J&K up for sale: Omar Abdullah

To fight for domicile rights on land: Altaf Bukhari

Attempt to snatch democratic rights of people: Mehbooba

PAGD condemns grant of property rights to non-State subjects

Suhail Khan

SRINAGAR, Oct 27: The Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India, announced an amendment in land laws to allow anyone in India to purchase the land in Jammu and Kashmir which hitherto was exclusively meant for permanent residents of J&K.  

The ministry of home affairs said that the order will be called the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation (Adaptation of Central Laws) Third Order, 2020.

A number of amendments have been carried out in the Jammu and Kashmir Development Act to allow the buying of land by anyone as words such as domicile or PRC holders find mention.   

The “state” has been substituted by “Union territory of Jammu and Kashmir”.

In sub section (2) ”whole of the State has been replaced by “whole of the Union territory of Jammu and Kashmir” while Section 2 “being permanent resident of the State” has been omitted altogether, meaning thereby that the land is no more exclusively meant for the permanent residents of erewhile Jammu and Kashmir.

In clause (l), for ―section 3 of the Land Acquisition Act, 1990 has been substituted with “the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013 (30 of 2013).

After clause (l), government has added:- ―(m) ―Strategic Areas‖ means an area notified as Strategic Area under sub-section (3) of section 3 of this Act.

In Section 3, after sub-section (2) the government has inserted  sub section (3) which reads : “Notwithstanding anything contained in this Act, the Government may on the written request of an Army officer not below the rank of Corp Commander, declare an area as Strategic Area within a local area, only for direct operational and training requirements of armed forces, which may be excluded from the operation of this Act and rules/regulations made there under in the manner and to the extent  specified in the declaration and the Government may satisfy itself about the reasons cited for declaring the area as strategic area and will have such area notified accordingly with such conditions as may be required.”

In section 5, “The Authority”‖ with has been substituted with “Subject to any rule, regulation, order or instruction” while In sub-section (1), for ―for each of the zones into which the local area may be divided‖ substitute ―for such zones which are declared as development areas under section 13‖ and for ―each zone word “each such zone issued in this behalf by the Government, the Authority” has been substituted.

The government has also inserted a new section—Section 11 A after section 11 which reads as : Permitted land use and levy of land use charges ―11A(1) Upon coming into operation of the master plan or a zonal plan, the land use permitted in the area covered thereunder shall only be as provided in terms of such master or zonal plan. The provisions of the Jammu and Kashmir Agrarian Reforms Act, 1976, Jammu and Kashmir Land Revenue Act, Samvat 1996 or any other law for the time being in force requiring any permission to change the usage of any land, shall not be applicable to any land so covered. (2) The Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, notify a scheme for levy of charges for use of land as permitted in the master plan or the zonal plan, the proceeds whereof shall form part of the fund of the Authority and may be used to defray the expenses incurred on acquisition of land that may be required to be acquired in terms of section 50.

The section 13 has been substituted with Declaration of development area and permission for development etc. ―13. (1) After a notice approving the date of operation of plan is published under section 11, the Authority may, with prior permission of the Government and by notification in the Official Gazette, declare any zone or part thereof as development area for the purposes of this Act. (2) Notwithstanding anything to the contrary contained in any law for the time being in force, consequent upon such notification, no person including a Department of the Government shall undertake or carry out development of any land or building in the zone unless permission for such development has been obtained in writing from the Authority in accordance with the provisions of this Act: Provided that the development of any land undertaken by a Department of the Government or any local authority before the 31st day of October, 2019 may be completed by that Department or local authority. (3) No person or entity, whether private or public, including a Department of the Government or any authority, shall undertake the implementation of any street or layout plan, in any form whatsoever, in the local area outside the limits of a Municipal Corporation established under the provisions of the Jammu and Kashmir Municipal Corporation Act, 2000,without the prior written permission of the Authority: Provided that for the purposes of such permission, the Authority shall follow the procedure laid down in Chapter XIII of the Jammu and Kashmir Municipal Corporation Act, 2000, and any reference therein to the Corporation or the Commissioner shall be construed as reference to the Authority or the Vice-Chairman of the Authority, respectively: Provided further that the restriction under this sub-section shall not apply to the development undertaken by or on behalf of the Metropolitan Region Development Authority established under the Jammu and Kashmir Metropolitan Region Development Authorities Act, 2018, or to a town planning scheme implemented under the provisions of the Jammu and Kashmir Town Planning Act, 1963.

JK LG’s reaction

Meanwhile, Jammu Kashmir Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha Tuesday claimed that the new land laws being introduced in J&K will not impact agricultural land.

Sinha was talking to Reporters on the sidelines of a press conference.

When asked about the impact of the new rules, Sinha said it was a decision taken to encourage industries and there will be on effect on agricultural land.

“I want to say this forcefully and with full responsibility that agricultural land has been kept reserved for farmers; no outsider will come on those lands. The industrial areas that we have defined, we want that like rest of the country, here too industries come so that Jammu & Kashmir also develops and employment is generated,” Sinha said.

(Political Reactions)

Jammu and Kashmir National Conference Vice President Omar Abdullah on Wednesday slammed the new land laws notified by the government of India for J&K and Ladakh.

Calling the newly introduced J&K Development Act, which has come into force with immediate effect, as hostile to the interests of the people of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh, Party Vice President said that the amendments to the land ownership law has put J&K up for sale. “With these new laws in place tokenism of the domicile certificate has been done away with as purchasing non-agricultural land has been made easier. These new laws are unacceptable to people of J&K, Ladakh,” he said. 

Apni Party president Syed Mohammad Altaf Bukhari on Tuesday reiterated his Party’s position vis-à-vis restoration of Statehood to J&K along with comprehensive domicile rights on land and jobs for its residents.

Bukhari said the party will go through the gazette notification issued by the union government today with regard to land rights in J&K and would take up its reservations before the top leadership in the country. 

“From day one our Party’s stand has been very clear on these vital issues. People should understand that our constitutionally guaranteed rights have been taken away long back and whatever was left, was snatched on August 5, 2019 when Articles 370 and 35-A were abrogated. However, the Apni Party will continue its fight for the rights of people and will resist any move that is against the interests of residents of J&K,” he added.

People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration has in a statement issued by its spokesperson Sajad Lone strongly condemned repeal of J&K Land Laws thereby stripping the Permanent Residents of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh of exclusive right to acquire and hold immovable property in the State – now unconstitutionally divided into two Union Territories and granting such rights to non State Subjects.

Terming the MHA Order as a huge betrayal, Sajad said that this is a massive assault on the rights of the people of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh and grossly unconstitutional. The Alliance has vowed to fight the anti Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh measure on all fronts.

Former chief minister and PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti termed the amendment as an attempt to snatch the democratic right of people. She in a tweet stated that after abrogating Article 370, the government is paving way for the people outside Jammu and Kashmir to buy the land here.

CPI (M) senior leader and former MLA Kulgam, Muhammad Yousuf Tarigami termed it a design to disempower the people of Jammu and Kashmir further.

“This is a design to disempower the people of J&K further and put their land on sale for corporations. It is daylight robbery of land in the name of integration, development and security,” Tarigami tweeted.


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