J&K new land laws: Any citizen can buy land in Jammu and Kashmir

    29-Oct-2020   
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With the new law, the Union Territory (UT) of Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation (Adaptation of Central Laws) Third Order, 2020, coming to force, now any Indian citizen can buy land in the UT of J&K.
 
In a historic move, on October 27, the BJP-led NDA Government has notified the rules, which empower every Indian citizen to buy land in the Union territory of Jammu and Kashmir. With the new law, the Union Territory (UT) of Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation (Adaptation of Central Laws) Third Order, 2020, coming to force, all non-permanent residents, which were deprived of the rights to own land in the erstwhile J&K state, can also purchase lands in Jammu and Kashmir.
 
Before the abrogation of Article 370 and Article 35-A in August last year, non-residents could not buy any immovable property in Jammu and Kashmir. In a 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.
 
In the third order, the Ministry of Home Affairs has repealed 12 state laws as a whole and others (14 state laws) out of 26 adapted with changes or substitutes. Among the laws which were repealed are The Jammu and Kashmir Alienation of Land Act, Jammu and Kashmir Big Landed Estates Abolition Act, Jammu and Kashmir Common Lands (Regulation) Act 1956, Jammu and Kashmir Consolidation of Holdings Act 1962, Jammu and Kashmir Right of Prior Purchase Act, Jammu and Kashmir Utilization of Lands Act.
 
In the Order, MHA stated, in exercise of the powers conferred by section 96 of the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, 2019 (34 of 2019), and of all other powers enabling it in that behalf, the Central Government hereby makes the following Order in respect of the Union territory of Jammu and Kashmir, namely--This Order may be called the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation (Adaptation of Central Laws) Third Order, 2020. The new law shall come into force with immediate effect.
 
The General Clauses Act, 1897 applies for the interpretation of this Order as it applies for the interpretation of laws in force in the territory of India, MHA stated. With immediate effect, the Acts mentioned in the Schedule to this Order shall, until repealed or amended by a competent Legislature or other competent authority, have the effect, subject to the adaptations and modifications directed by the Schedule to this Order, or if it is so directed, shall stand repealed.
 
"Where this Order requires that in any specified section or other portion of an Act, certain words shall be substituted for certain other words, or certain words shall be omitted, such substitution or omission, as the case may be, shall, except where it is otherwise expressly provided, be made wherever the words referred to occur in that section or portion," MHA stated.
 
"The provisions of this Order which adapt or modify any law so as to alter the manner in which, the authority by which or the law under or in accordance with which, any powers are exercisable, shall not render invalid any notification, order, commitment, attachment, bye-law, rule or regulation duly made or issued, or anything duly done before the 31st day of October 2019; and any such notification, order commitment, attachment, bye-law, rule, regulation or anything may be revoked, varied or undone in the like manner, to the like extent and in the like circumstances as if it had been made, issued or done after the commencement of this Order by the competent authority and in accordance with the provisions then applicable to such case," MHA added.
 
Meanwhile, Lieutenant Governor, Manoj Sinha told media reporters that the amendments did not allow transfer of agriculture land to non-agriculturists. "I want to say this forcefully and with full responsibility that agricultural land has been kept reserved for farmers; no outsider will come on those lands. The industrial areas that we have defined, we want that like rest of the country, here too industries come so that Jammu & Kashmir also develops and employment is generated," he also said.