Smelling rat, political parties oppose move; demand roll back
Issuance of new domicile rules amid lockdown…
Srinagar/Jammu: Almost all major political parties in Jammu and Kashmir on Tuesday demanded roll back of the new domicile rules, saying the BJP-led central government is speeding up new ordinances to redesign the Union Territory’s demography while the country is battling the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Jammu and Kashmir administration on Monday decided to reopen “fresh registration” for Kashmiri migrants and displaced persons, a move which was welcomed by the BJP and Kashmiri Pandit community.
People belonging to West Pakistan, Valmikis, women marrying outside communities, non-registered Kashmiri migrants and displaced people will soon get domicile under a new set of rules issued by the administration.
Jammu and Kashmir National Conference vehemently opposed Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation (Adaptation of State Laws) Order, 2020 and Jammu and Kashmir Grant of Domicile Certificate ( Procedure) Rules 2020.
In a statement released to press, the Party stated that both the S.O 1229 (E) Domicile law and S.O 166 prescribing the procedure for grant of Domicile Certificate are made in exercise of power under the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganization Act 2019, challenged in number of petitions before the Supreme Court, the hearing before the Constitution Bench has commenced and is proceeding ahead. It is stated that 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.
It is stated that the National Conference has taken a principled stand on the floor of the Parliament and outside that the decisions of 5th August 2019 taking away special status and constitutional guarantees available to Jammu and Kashmir and dividing and downgrading the State are unconstitutional, unilateral as also against the federalism, the basic structure of the Constitution. The Party has pleaded these grounds before the Court. The post 5th August events in Jammu and Kashmir also indicate massive public disapproval of the decisions in all the three regions.
The statement adds that though the Domicile Order and Rules would not be acceptable at any point of time, yet the timing of the Order and Procedure in question is also grossly inappropriate and unethical in as much as when entire mankind including the people of Jammu and Kashmir are in complete lockdown engaged in battle of survival against Coronavirus, the Government of India has found this opportune time to push in the measures, palpably anti people and unconstitutional.
The Peoples Conference (PC) on Tuesday strongly opposed the J&K Reorganization (Adaptation of State Laws) Order, 2020, and the J&K Grant of Domicile Certificate (Procedure) Rules 2020, saying it is aimed at further disempowering and disenfranchising the people of erstwhile state of J&K.
In a statement issued here today, the party spokesperson said that at a time when countries and societies across the world are focused on fighting the deadly pandemic, the people of J&K have to additionally endure psychological torture in the wake of orders issued at frequent intervals informing them and reminding them of their disempowered status.
“Issuing order after order in COVID times will not change the reality on the ground. The reality as it stares at us is that people have not accepted the decisions of August 5”, PC spokesperson said.
“There is enough empirical evidence across the world that such changes thrust against the wishes of people have a limited shelf life. One fails to understand why the government is in a state of denial and obstinate in not accepting the reality as it exists,” said the spokesperson
The Jammu and Kashmir unit of the CPI(M) alleged that the move to bring new domicile rules was part of the BJP government’s “ploy to redesign” the Union Territory that is bound to further widen the gulf between it and the rest of the country.
The party said that “at a time when people are seriously concerned about the spread of the coronavirus, the BJP government is busy in redesigning the Union Territory”.
“The fresh domicile notification issued on Monday, while the region is under the grip of the deadly COVID-19 pandemic, is extension of the unconstitutional and undemocratic assault carried out by the BJP government on August 5 last year,” senior CPI(M) leader Mohammad Yousuf Tarigami said in a statement here.
The Jammu and Kashmir Pradesh Congress committee (JKPCC)e has said that the new domicile law has opened flood gates for outsiders and enabled large number of outside residents to avail and share all the rights at par with original natives and residents of Jammu and Kashmir, contrary to repeated claims and assurances, during and post abrogation of Special Status.
In a statement JKPCC Chief G.A. Mir termed it a betrayal with the people especially youth of J and K, who were promised complete protection of rights to jobs and land, even post abrogation of Art 370.
He said Lakhs of people including their descendants from those included in the categories of domicile especially those having no ancestral linkages or a rightful claim, would be eligible for all available Government jobs.
Mir regretted that the Centre government has chosen the lockdown period of Covid-19, to bring all such changes and introduce all these things against the rights and wishes of overwhelming majority of people in Jammu and Kashmir.
Jammu Kashmir Apni Party (JKAP) termed framing of new Jammu and Kashmir Domicile rules as inappropriate and untimely in absence of a popular government in J&K.
In a statement issued here, a spokesman of JKAP said the new rules have been framed at a time when the whole country especially Jammu and Kashmir is battling to reduce the number of deaths caused due to COVID pandemic.
“The timing of framing of these important rules is not only inappropriate but grossly unethical. There is no popular, elected government in place in J&K wherein the legislature could have thoroughly discussed and deliberated upon eligibility criteria for availing domicile credentials,” the JKAP spokesman added.
He demanded that the entire exercise be put on hold till there is an elected government in J&K. “The people in J&K are presently engaged in battle of survival against Coronavirus, and it would be constitutionally and morally indecorous to thrust these rules, framed by bureaucracy, on them,” he observed.
The spokesman reiterated JKAP’s stand to continue with its efforts to get this law revisited in its entirety in order to remove the loopholes till it satisfies the aspirations of people of Jammu and Kashmir.
Decisions of 5th August 2019 are unconstitutional, unilateral as also against the federalism. – NC
Issuing order after order will not change the reality on the ground. The reality as it stares at us is that people have not accepted the decisions of August 5. – PC
Move to bring new domicile rules part of the BJP’s “ploy to redesign” the UT that is bound to further widen the gulf between it and the rest of the country. – CPI(M)
The new domicile law has opened flood gates for outsiders and enabled them to avail and share all the rights at par with original natives and residents of Jammu and Kashmir. – JKPCC
The timing of framing of these important rules is not only inappropriate but grossly unethical. – JKAP