The MHA notified what it calls UT of Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation (Adaptation of Central Laws) Third Order, 2020. The Centre has repealed or substituted 26 state laws.
In a gazette notification, the Centre has omitted 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.
Before repeal of Article 370 and Article 35-A in August last year, non-residents could not buy any immovable property in Jammu and Kashmir. However, the fresh changes have paved the way for non-residents to buy land in the union territory.
Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha told reporters that the amendments did not allow transfer of agricultural land to non-agriculturists.
However, there are several exemptions in the Act which enable 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.
Reacting to the MHA notification, National Conference leader Omar Abdullah 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 land holding owners will suffer,” Omar Abdullah said in a tweet.
Unacceptable amendments to the land ownership laws of J&K. Even the tokenism of domicile has been done away with wh… https://t.co/Y8eaXhmgW4
— Omar Abdullah (@OmarAbdullah) 1603789608000
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.
Watch MHA notifies new law under which any Indian citizen can buy land in Jammu & Kashmir, Ladakh