Jammu & Kashmir

4 lakh domicile certificates issued in a month, officials asked to ‘complete process in 2 days’

Retired members of the Armed Forces of India getting domicile certificates of JK.

Srinagar: In a little over than a month, the Jammu and Kashmir administration has granted over four lakh domicile certificates amid the criticism by those who oppose the Government of India’s decision of scrapping the article 370.

“So far, over four lakh domicile certificates have been granted to the applicants. Though a period of 15 days has been fixed for issuing a certificate to an applicant, yet we have asked all revenue officers, including Tehsildars, to complete the process within two days,” a Chandigarh based newspaper The Tribune quoted Principal Secretary, Revenue Department, Pawan Kotwal, as saying.

The report added that region-wise data for how domicile certificates have been issued was not readily available.

Quoting a top revenue officer concerning a query regarding the rejection of a large number of online applications, the report said that they have taken up the issue with the Principal Secretary, IT Department who has assured the expansion of the system.

The officer told the newspaper that they have also received some complaints concerning the rejections of online applications. Besides, there are reports of crashing of official website and difficulty in downloading certificates.

“We are alive to the situation and all such issues to be dealt with the expansion of the system,” the report quoted Kotwal as having said.

On June 27, the Divisional Commissioner Jammu Sanjeev Verma had started the process to hand over domicile certificates to Valmikis, West Pakistan refugees and Gurkhas, who were considered to be the worst-sufferers of Article-370, the report added.

After the abrogation of Article 370 on August 5 last year, the permanent resident certificates (PRCs) law was abolished and replaced by the new Domicile Law which was notified by the government on May 18.

According to the new law, the new domicile policy provides citizenship rights to all the outsiders who have stayed in JK from seven to 15 years.

However, the move was opposed by the Kashmir-based parties, alleging “it is an attempt to change the demography of the J&K”.

As per the government rules issued concerning the domicile process, if a tehsildar in the erstwhile state fails to issue a domicile certificate to applicants on time, they may attract a punishment of having to forfeit up to Rs 50,000 from their salary.

Earlier in the first week of July,  a majority of retired soldiers and officers from the Gorkha community got the domicile certificates in Jammu and Kashmir.

The document now allows them to buy property and apply for jobs in the Union Territory, which priorly pertaining to Article 370 and 35 (A) was not possible.


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