Identity crisis looms large over old Jammu city residents

INDU SHARMA. Dated: 12/3/2018 12:32:14 PM

Obtaining PRCs a Herculean task even for ‘Hereditary subjects’

JAMMU, Dec 2: The residents in Abadi Deh area particularly in Jammu Khas (old Jammu city) are facing identity crisis as it has become a herculean task to establish their identity despite producing genuine available records to procure Permanent Resident Certificates (PRCs).
Ironically, even the descendants of 1st class hereditary State Subjects are being asked to prove their identity by the authorities concerned.
They are being asked to prove the “lineage” of family residing in the J&K State at the time of Maharaja’s Rule or PRCs issued, during Maharaja Hari Singh’s government, to their ancestors (1st class hereditary State Subject) and to their great grandfather, grandfather or father, who served the Maharaja’s government and thereafter also served J&K state government. Many among the city residents, who are being denied PRCs on one pretext or the other, included those whose great grandfather, grandfather or father served Maharaja’s government and they have, still, been serving in the state government, having valid PRCs issued by the successive governments.
However, the concerned authorities are not considering their PRCs as primary evidence to establish their links with the members of their present generation, who apply for issuance of State Subject in their favour.
As per Government Revenue record, the area recorded as “Abadi Deh” falls under Khasra No. 345 of village Jammu Khas (Old City Jammu). No separate title is defined, because the possession is considered to be the title of the land. Therefore the people of the area don’t face any inconvenience for getting building permissions/bank Housing loan etc. However, Permanent Resident Certificates are processed/issued for Abadi Deh area after getting extracts of voter list of the year 1951, 1957, ration card, report of field staff, extract of Census from General Record Room etc.
But the bonafide/genuine citizens of old city Jammu are being harassed by the concerned officers/officials of the revenue department as and when they apply for obtaining PRC. According to the written statement made by the Minister for Revenue in the Upper House of the State Legislature, the “possession of an individual is considered to be the title in an Abadi Deh area under the Land Laws in force.”
Moreover, the State Revenue department, itself, has admitted that some electoral rolls of 1951 and 1957, as are demanded from the applicants, are in dilapidated conditions due to their frequent use for issuance of extracts to the general public. Even Chief Electoral Department Jammu admits that the some records pertaining to 1951 and 1957 have either been destroyed or missing due to poor upkeep of these vital records and no digitization of this vial record has been done or undertaken so far.
The moot question is - who is responsible for this mess and why a common man or his or her wards those who apply for PRC, should face the harassment for the failure of the department to provide this information (copy of electoral rolls) inspite of the fact that the applicants possess all other relevant documentary proofs for obtaining the State Subject.
Jammu and Kashmir has the special status where a resident living in the State is treated as a State Subject unlike other parts of the country. In order to save the interest of the residents during the time of late Maharaja Hari Singh, the last Dogra ruler of J&K , promulgated State Subject law on 20th April 1927 vide notification no. 1-L/84 issued on 27th June 1932 vide notification no. 13/L. Further to define the terms within “State subject” the Maharaja constituted ten member Committee in the year 1923 AD. The committee comprised Colonel Rai Bahadur Janak Singh (Revenue Minister of Council) as president and other members Lala Tulsi Ram (Accountant General), Khan Sahib Hakim Sayeed Hussain (Settlement Officer Kashmir), Thakur Kartar Singh ( Sub-Judge Jammu), Pandit Vidh Lal Zutshi (Wazir Wazarat Anantnag), Sardhar Vidhi Singh( Forest Assistant Settlement Officer), Mohammed Wilayat Khan (Jagirdar), Pandit Anant Ram (president Dogra Sabha), Mirza Ghulam Mustafa of Srinagar and Pandit Chandar Joo (High Court Pleader). On the basis of the recommendations of this Committee, the then Dogra ruler of J&K validated the terms of reference to safeguard the interest of the residents of the J&K.
After the accession/merger of the J&K state with Union of India, the state government continued with the practice of a Permanent Resident Certificate (PRC) for its bonafide citizens. The J&K constitution, which was adopted on November 17,1956, defines a Permanent Resident of the state as “a person who was a State Subject on May 14, 1954 or who has been a Resident of the State for 10 years and has “ lawfully acquired immovable property in the State.”
The J&K state government formulated “J&K Grant of Permanent Certificate Procedure Act, 1963” followed by “J&K Grant of PRC Procedure Rules, 1968” which defines the terms and conditions for applying and issuance of the PRC to the applicants. According to the procedure rules of 1963 , the applicant is required to furnish the following documents as mandatory for obtaining PRC which are (1) Record of Rights (Misli Hiqiyat) (2) Details of pedigree table (Shajra Nasab) (3) Khaka Dasti of House (Choola Extract) (4) Voter List current (5) Voter List of 1951 in case of landless person (6) Nikha Nama (Marriage Certificate) in respect of married women (7) Un-married certificate (in case of un-married girl) (8) Non-migration certificate (9) Form- (A) (10) Affidavit (11) Extract of fee receipt.
The check list of the documents, required for obtaining various services including PRC, has not been displayed on the notice board of the competent authority at almost every tehsil/district offices of Jammu division as it is mandatory for the convenience of general public.



Indian History... Read More



Daily horoscope