The revised Center laws now allows people from outside Jammu and Kashmir to buy land in the Union Territory (UT) Which has also raised statements like ‘J&K up for sale’ said by National Conference Vice President Omar Abdullah.
The MHA notified what it calls UT of Jammu and Kashmir Reorganization (Adaptation of Central Laws) Third Order, 2020. The Centre has cancelled or switched 26 state laws.
As per the sources, the Centre has excluded the phrase “permanent resident of the state” from Section 17 of the Jammu and Kashmir Development Act that deals with disposal of the land in the union territory. Till last year, before removing Article 370 and Article 35-A, non-residents could not buy any immovable property in Jammu and Kashmir.
Reporters mentioned the statement of Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha said that the amendments did not allow the transfer of agricultural land to non-agriculturists. Nevertheless, due to various removal of Act clearly allows the transfer of agricultural land for non-agricultural purposes, including setting up of educational or health care facilities.
Former Advocate General Mohammad Ishaq Qadri said the amendments have opened floodgates for people from outside Jammu and Kashmir to buy lands. “Now there is no legal bar on purchase of land here by outsiders,” he said.
The MHA notification will come into force with immediate effect.
National Conference leader Omar Abdullah reacted to the MHA notification and said that J&K is now up for sale “Unacceptable amendments to the land ownership laws of J&K. Even the tokenism of domicile has been done away with when purchasing non-agricultural land & transfer of agricultural land has been made easier. J&K is now up for sale & the poorer small landholding owners will suffer.
Further Reacting to the development, People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD) spokesperson Sajad Lone said, “The amendment stripped 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”, Lone said, “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.” The PADG comprises the National Conference, PDP, CPM, CPI, People’s Conference, Awami National Conference, and the People’s Movement.