Centre notifies news land laws; Any Indian Citizen Can Now Buy Land in J&K

KT NEWS SERVICE. Dated: 10/28/2020 2:55:33 AM

#11 J&K laws repealed, 26 amended #On request from Army, any area can be declared ‘strategic’

NEW DELHI, Oct 27: The Centre has notified new laws, including fresh land laws, for the Union Territory (UT) of J&K and omitted any precondition on purchase of land in J&K, as existed under Article 370 for the outsiders.
In its order, the home ministry said the new laws will be called the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation (Adaptation of Central Laws) Third Order, 2020. It added that it will come into effect immediately.
The Centre said the “permanent resident of the state” clause has been omitted now. Under this, 11 state laws have been repealed and 26 others have been adapted with changes or substitutes. Those completely repealed include the Jammu and Kashmir Alienation of Land Act, 1995, the Jammu and Kashmir Big Landed Estates Abolition Act, the Jammu and Kashmir Common Lands (Regulation) Act, 1956, and the Jammu and Kashmir Consolidation of Holdings Act, 1962.
As per the fresh notification, Section 30 of and Part VII of the State Land Acquisition Act, Samvat 1990 was substituted by the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013 (30 of 2013).
Introducing the J&K Agrarian Reforms Act, the Jammu and Kashmir Forest Act, 1987 was also substituted by the Indian Forest Act, 1927 (16 of 1927).
The Centre also completely repealed the J&K Alienation of Land Act, 1995 and the J&K Big Land Estates Act and the J&K Common Lands (regulation) Act, 1956 and the J&K Consolidation of Holdings Act, 1962.
The Centre has repealed most of the previous land laws, including the J&K Prevention of Fragmentation of Agricultural Holdings Act, 1960; J&K Prohibition on Conversion of Land and Alienation of Orchards Act, 1975; the J&K Right of Prior Purchase ACT, 1936 A.D; Section 3 of the J&K Tenancy (Stay of Ejectment Proceedings) Act 1966; the J&K Utilisation of Land Act, 2010; and the J&K Underground Utilities (Acquisition of rights of user in land) Act.
The fresh notification underlined that the government may on the written request of an Army officer not below the rank of Corp Commander declare an area as Strategic Area within a local area, only for direct operational and training requirements of armed forces, which may be excluded from the operation of this Act and rules and regulations made there under in the manner and to the extent.
Under the transfer of land for the purpose of promotion of healthcare or education 133-J, the government may allow transfer of land in favour of a person or an institution for the purpose of promotion of healthcare or senior secondary or higher or specialised education in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir.
It also lays down that upon coming into operation of the master plan or a zonal plan, the land use permitted in the area covered thereunder shall only be as provided in terms of such master or zonal plan. The provisions of the Jammu and Kashmir Agrarian Reforms Act, 1976, Jammu and Kashmir Land Revenue Act, Samvat 1996 or any other law for the time being in force requiring any permission to change the usage of any land, shall not be applicable to any land so covered.
The Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, notify a scheme for levy of charges for use of land as permitted in the master plan or the zonal plan, the proceeds whereof shall form part of the fund of the Authority and may be used to defray the expenses incurred on acquisition of land that may be required to be acquired in terms of section 50.
According to the new amendments, the Authority may, with prior permission of the Government and by notification in the Official Gazette, declare any zone or part thereof as development area for the purposes of this Act.
The new lawsmakes it possible for any Indian citizen to buy land in the region, sparking fears among locals as it was earlier meant only for permanent residents under Article 370.
The new land laws that allows non-domiciles to buy and acquire land in J-K, does not extend to Union Territory of Ladakh, according to a report in the Outlook.
Last year, in August, New Delhi had abrogated Articles 370 and 35A that had granted exclusive rights to the permanent residents of the erstwhile state over government jobs and land ownership. The Centre also broke the erstwhile state into two union territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh.
An unidentified senior government official said that the third adaptation of the laws is only meant for Jammu and Kashmir, not Ladakh — and unlike previous government orders, it has not been extended the adaptation to Ladakh region.
However, even before today’s notification, some of the land deeds involving non-permanent resident certificate (PRC) holders were effected due to the ambiguity in the land related laws since the gazette notification of March 2020, according to which the PRC provisions in many laws including the land related laws was struck off.
Atleast, two lawyers confirmed that they had executed land deeds in which non-PRCs were involved. One of them was a domicile certificate holder.
A senior Law Officer had confirmed to Kashmir Times way back in May 2020 that the land ownership was without riders but had added that rules to this effect are likely to be drafted to lend some clarity to the issue.



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