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New Rule Allows any Indian to Buy Land in Jammu and Kashmir

In a significant move after the revoke of Article 370 by the Indian government, a new notification issued on Monday states that now any Indian citizen can now buy land, except agricultural, in municipal areas of Jammu and Kashmir without being a domicile.

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The new rule has paved the way for people from outside the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir to finally buy land in the beautiful valley. The notification will be called the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation (Adaptation of Central Laws) Third Order, 2020.

Reacting to the government’s order, National Conference leader Omar Abdullah expressed unhappiness over the amendments. In a sarcastic comment, Abdullah claimed that “J&K is now up for sale”.

Several other leaders from Kashmir also called the notification “Unacceptable”. Omar Abdullah in another tweet also expressed confusion on whether Ladakh has been included in the new notification order or not. He claimed the action by the Indian government as ‘betrayal’ on the people of Jammu and Kashmir. 

Before the repeal of Article 370 and Article 35-A in August last year, non-residents could not buy any immovable property in Jammu and Kashmir.

However, the fresh changes have paved the way for non-residents to buy land in the union territory.  

Also under the notification, for the first time, the spouse of a Jammu and Kashmir domicile shall be deemed as a domicile. Earlier, spouses of Permanent Resident Cardholders were considered at par but were not considered domiciles. Children of central government officials posted for over ten years in Jammu and Kashmir will also continue to be considered domiciles.

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Under the order, a new body – the J&K Industrial Development Co-operation – has been set up and if it is unable to acquire land, the government could invoke the provision of the Right to Fair Compensation Act, and acquire the land on behalf of the corporation for public purposes.

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