Domicile rules for J&K: Old wine in new bottle?

The New Indian Express

Last August, in what was expected to be a tectonic shift from a prohibitive and self-defeating status quo, Articles 367 and 370 of the Constitution were amended, the Constitution (Application to Jammu and Kashmir) Order 1954 (“the 1954 Presidential Order”) was superseded and the Indian Constitution was extended in its entirety to the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir. Among other things, these amendments effectively led to the abrogation of the Constitution of Jammu and Kashmir 1956, and repealment of Article 35A of the Indian Constitution that was questionably inserted through the 1954 Presidential Order.

Owing to the Constitutional amendments effected last year, which included the reorganisation of the erstwhile state into a union territory, the concept of “permanent resident” had become redundant and most people assumed that this was the end of the discriminatory framework. Perhaps, this may not be the case.On 31 March 2020, with the entire country busy battling the Covid-19 pandemic, the Union Home Ministry notified the promulgation of the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation (Adaptation of State Laws) Order 2020 (“the First Order”) for the union territory. The First Order, among other things, amended the Jammu and Kashmir Civil Services (Decentralisation and Recruitment) Act, 2010 (“the Recruitment Act”), most notably by introducing the definition of “domicile”.

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