New Delhi: In a significant move, the Centre has notified the new Land Laws for Jammu & Kashmir. In a gazette notification, the union home ministry notified this on Monday. It paved way for any Indian to buy land in the Union Territory (UT) of Jammu & Kashmir.
The MHA notified what it calls UT of Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation (Adaptation of Central Laws) Third Order, 2020. The order comes into force with immediate effect.
"With immediate effect, the Acts mentioned in the Schedule to this Order shall, until repealed or amended by a competent Legislature or other competent authority, have effect, subject to the adaptations and modifications directed by the said Schedule, or if it is so directed, shall stand repealed," read the order.
In the gazette notification, the Centre has omitted the phrase "permanent resident of the state" from Section 17 of the Jammu and Kashmir Development Act that deals with disposal of the land in the union territory.
Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha told to media that the amendments did not allow transfer of agricultural land to non-agriculturists.
However, there are several exemptions in the Act which enable transfer of agricultural land for non-agricultural purposes, including setting up of educational or health care facilities.
The General Clauses Act, 1897 applies for the interpretation of this current Order since it applies for interpretation of laws in force in India, said the order. Meanwhile 12 state laws have also been repealed as a whole.
Those legislations which are being repealed as a whole include the Jammu and Kashmir Alienation Of Land Act (V of Samvat 1995), the Jammu and Kashmir Big Landed Estates Abolition Act (XVII Samvat 2007), The Jammu and Kashmir Common Lands (Regulation) Act, 1956, the Jammu and Kashmir Consolidation Of Holdings Act, 1962, among others.Before repeal of Article 370 and Article 35-A in August last year, non-residents could not buy any immovable property in Jammu and Kashmir.
Incidentally, the Centre has issued the notification on the same day when the separatists in Kashmir observed 'Black day' to mark the landing of Indian forces in Srinagar on October 27, 1947 as per the "Instrument of Accession" signed by Maharaja Hari Singh, the then ruler of the princely state.
India celebrated the 73rd anniversary of the Accession Day on October 26, marking the successful accession of the state to India. For the first time since independence, the Union Territory ofJammu and Kashmir observed a public holiday on Monday.
The Instrument of Accession (Jammu and Kashmir), a treaty between the state of Jammu and Kashmir and India, was signed by Maharaja Hari Singh, Lord Mountbatten accepted it a day later.
(With inputs from PTI and IANS)