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DOMICILE LAW IN PERSPECTIVE 

Azad Hussain



If  the prevalent unsuitable situation, on one hand, has evolved panic among the masses because people from all across the world are  battling for their survival, as the  SARS-coV-2 virus,  in  it’s furious mood, has gained the ground all across it’s length and breadth and people are scared that it might not give a clean sweep to the larger portion of the population in the world. On the other hand the government at the centre, in the midst of this panic situation, has come up with domicile law for Jammu and Kashmir, which is somehow controversially pertaining to the different views of people belonging to different walks of life.

This all has happened while the people, in order to hide from the severe threat of the pandemic COVID-19,  have taken refuge inside their caged rooms since a couple of weeks past,  when the Prime Minister of India Narender Modi Ji announced 21 days “lockdown” in Indian, to combat Covid-19. Perhaps the government at the centre would have found it a good time to introduce the law in the middle of the lockdown to avoid any kind of mass protest by the  people who would oppose it in  Jammu and Kashmir.

Pertinently, Under the new law, those who have resided for a period of 15 years in Jammu and Kashmir or studied for a period of seven years and appeared in Class 10/12 examinations in educational institutions located in the region are now eligible to become permanent residents. The new law announced by the Ministry of Home Affairs also provided domicile status to the children of central government officials who have served in Union Territory for a total period of 10 years.  

This has inflamed a chaos and confusion among the largest part of native people, that it would gradually pave way to those who were non state subjects for  achieving domicile rights. 

The law also  says that no person shall be eligible for appointment to a post carrying a pay scale of not more than Group-4 (Rs 25,500) unless he is a domicile of the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir.  

It has created an apprehension among the people that on one hand the local permanent resident job aspirants would have to  face   competition with an additional increasing  number of new  entitled residents under domicile act for up to Group-4 level posts, on the other hand for the appointments of  above  level-4 non-gazetted and gazetted posts the local permanent residents would have to  compete at the national level. 

However, now it is to be seen, what kind of other options, the government at the centre  would go for in future to stand by their tall  claimed promises, post abrogation of article 370 and 35A, to provide employment to challenging and increasing  number of educated unemployed youth in Jammu and Kashmir.

Despite the assurances from various political faces that they had represented the issues relating to job security and land ownership rights with the centre, and no such kind of law would be introduced which would hurt the aspirations of the people of Jammu and Kashmir with regard to mentioned rights, the unprecedented domicile law came all of sudden unexpectedly. Ironically several among them (who earlier had assured) also opposed the law and said”, it is unacceptable”

Though  the  common native people , who are bound under lockdown, couldn’t express their response to the domicile law except those who are the users of social media platforms, various  leaders of  regional as well as national political parties have uproused their voices  against the law. Some described it as “an insult being heaped on injury” and some as “it is an obnoxious piece of superimposed legislation”,

However, no doubt, the BJP leaders in Jammu and Kashmir have welcomed this domicile law and termed it a ray of hope for job advertisements in big numbers for the job aspirants of Union Territory. But such kind of pro-party statements by political workers, sometimes amounts to save their own skin and sometimes to show  their loyalty towards their bosses.


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