As senior IAS officer from Bihar, Navin Kumar Choudhary along with 25,000 people have been granted a domicile certificate by the government in Jammu and Kashmir, regional political parties say they have been opposing the law from the very beginning and could see the nefarious design behind them.
Principal secretary in Agriculture production department, Navin Choudhary has served in IT, Finance, Industries and Tourism departments in Jammu and Kashmir in his long career.
“All our misgivings about the new domicile rules in J&K are coming to the fore. We in @JKNC_opposed the changes because we could see the nefarious design behind the changes. The people of J&K on both sides of the Pir Panjal mountains will be the sufferers of these domicile rules,” former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah tweeted.
Imran Nabi Dar, National Conference spokesman said, “Domicile Order and Rules would never be acceptable at any point of time because the measures are illegal, unconstitutional and are aimed at disempowering the people of Jammu and Kashmir.”
On April 1, eight months after the abrogation of Articles 370, the BJP government notified a law spelling out domicile of Jammu and Kashmir and also the eligibility for employment in the region.
Under the law, the domiciles have been defined as those who have resided for a period of 15 years in Jammu and Kashmir or have studied for a period of seven years and appeared in Class 10th/12th examination in an educational institution located in J&K.
Before August 5, when Article 370 and Article 35-A were in vogue, all jobs in the erstwhile state of J&K were exclusively reserved for permanent residents of the State. Under Article 370, Jammu and Kashmir was governed under the Constitution of Jammu and Kashmir while Article 35-A was prohibiting people from outside from buying property in the erstwhile state and ensuring job reservation for permanent residents. Article 35A would empower the government of J&K to define a class of persons as constituting “permanent residents” of the erstwhile state and allow the government to confer on them special rights and privileges with respect to matters of public employment and acquisition of immovable property in the State.
Choudhary became the first IAS officer who has been granted the domicile certificate to be the resident of J&K. His domicile certificate was issued by Tehsildar Bahu, Rohit Sharma. “This is to certify, Shri Navin K Choudhary son of Shri Deokant Choudhary resident of at present Gandhi Nagar Jammu is a domicile of UT of J&K,” reads the domicile certificate issued in his name.
Of 33,157 applications for domicile certificates in J&K, the government has granted over 25,000 citizenship certificates so far. Thegovernment has received nearly 32,000 applications in 10 districts of Jammu Division. In Kashmir it has received only 720 applications.
To end any resistance from local revenue officers, the government has set a 15-day deadline for issuance of the certificate from the submission of application and if the revenue officer delays issuing of the certificate, the government would deduct Rs 50,000 from their salary as plenty.
The PDP has been opposing the law for long saying, "Demographic change and disenfranchisement will further complicate the J & K issue which has claimed thousands of lives. This will be resisted through all democratic peaceful means."