Tribune News Service
Jammu, July 31
Amid criticism by those who oppose ending the special status of J&K, the Union Territory (UT) administration granted over four lakh domicile certificates in a little over one month.
“So far, over four lakhs domicile certificates have been granted to the applicants. Though a period of 15 days has been fixed for issuing a certificate to an applicant, yet we have asked all revenue officers, including Tehsildars, to complete the process within two days,” Pawan Kotwal, Principal Secretary, Revenue Department J&K told The Tribune.
The region-wise data for how domicile certificates have been issued was not readily available.
Over a query regarding the rejection of a large number of online applications, the top revenue officer said they have taken up the issue with the Principal Secretary, IT Department who has assured the expansion of the system.
“We also received some complaints concerning the rejections of online applications. Besides, there are reports of crashing of official website and difficulty in downloading certificates. We are alive to the situation and all such issues to be dealt with the expansion of the system,” Kotwal said.
On June 27, the Divisional Commissioner Jammu Sanjeev Verma had started the process to hand over domicile certificates to Valmikis, West Pakistan refugees and Gurkhas, who were considered to be the worst-sufferers of Article-370.
After the abrogation of Article 370 on August 5 last year, the permanent resident certificates (PRCs) law was abolished and replaced by the new Domicile Law which was notified by the government on May 18.
The new domicile policy provides citizenship rights to all the outsiders who have stayed in J&K from seven to 15 years. Kashmir-based parties have opposed the new law, alleging “it is an attempt to change the demography of the J&K”.
According to the domicile rules, if a tehsildar in Jammu and Kashmir fails to issue a domicile certificate to applicants on time, they may attract a punishment of having to forfeit up to Rs 50,000 from their salary.
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