Centre amends laws to allow people from outside J-K to buy land there; Omar Abdullah calls it ‘unacceptable’ 

Centre has paved way for people from outside Jammu and Kashmir to buy land in the UT by amending several laws, over a year after the nullification of Articles 370 and 35A of the Constitution

Representative Image (Photo courtesy: Social Media)
Representative Image (Photo courtesy: Social Media)
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NH Web Desk

The Centre has paved the way for people from outside Jammu and Kashmir to buy land in the union territory by amending several laws, over a year after the nullification of Articles 370 and 35A of the Constitution.

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.

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

Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha told reporters 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.


Former Advocate General Mohammad Ishaq Qadri said the amendments have opened floodgates for people from outside Jammu and Kashmir to buy lands. "Now there is no legal bar on purchase of land here by outsiders," he said.

National Conference Vice President Omar Abdullah hit out the new land laws notified by the Centre for Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh, terming it a "deceit" and a "wanton breach of trust".

Calling the J&K Development Act, which has come into force with immediate effect, as hostile to the interests of the people of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh, Abdullah, a former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister, contended that the amendments to the land ownership law has put J&K "up for sale".

"With these new laws in place, tokenism of the domicile certificate has been done away with as purchasing non-agricultural land has been made easier. These new laws are unacceptable to people of J&K, Ladakh," he said.

"The BJP remains unchallenged in the opportunistic politics and that the issuance of the amended land rules notification smacks of its cheap politics and deceit," he said.

"Interestingly the Centre waited till the elections to LAHDC had concluded and the BJP had won a majority before putting Ladakh also up for sale. This is what Ladakhis got for trusting the assurances of the BJP," he said.

"The new laws are a consequence of the measures undertaken by the GOI on 5th of August without democratic bearings and much to the resentment and anger of the region's populace.

"The measure reflects the wanton breach of trust of the people of J&K by a dispensation which is brewing with abhorrence for the diversity of the country and the democracy. The measures are also part of a larger design aimed to destroy the local, distinctive cultural identity of Kashmir, thereby giving a ditch to the successive promises made by the successive Central governments from time to time," he said.

"Such measures reveal that it is not the people's aspirations which matters to the ruling dispensation at New Delhi, it is rather the land which they want to hold on and are interested in," Abdullah added.

He also tweeted "Unacceptable amendments to the land ownership laws of J&K. Even the tokenism of domicile has been done away with when purchasing non-agricultural land & transfer of agricultural land has been made easier. J&K is now up for sale & the poorer small land holding owners will suffer."

He further alleged in his another post that the BJP waited till the election results of Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council came out and it won majority to notify the Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh land laws:



With input from agencies

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