Centre brings in new law; now anyone can buy land in J&K, Ladakh

Centre brings in new law; now anyone can buy land in J&K, Ladakh

‘J&K needs industries like other parts of India; Agri land will be protected’: LG

Srinagar 27 Oct: In a significant development, the Government of India Monday repealed a set of land laws of the erstwhile state of J&K by virtue of an order which allows anyone across India to buy land (except Agricultural land) in Jammu and Kashmir.

On Monday, the MHA passed an order called the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation (Adaptation of Central Laws) Third Order, 2020.

The order comes into force with immediate effect and as per it, the General Clauses Act, 1897 “applies for the interpretation of this Order as it applies for interpretation of laws in force in the territory of India.”

Under this order, a number of amendments have been carried out in the Jammu and Kashmir Development Act to allow the buying of land by anyone as words such as domicile or PRC holders find mention.

The “state” has been substituted by the word “Union territory of Jammu and Kashmir”.

In sub section (2) ”whole of the State” has been replaced by “whole of the Union territory of Jammu and Kashmir” while Section 2 “being permanent resident of the State” has been omitted altogether, meaning thereby that the land is no more exclusively meant for the permanent residents of erewhile Jammu and Kashmir.

Asked about it, Lieutenant governor of Jammu and Kashmir Manoj Sinha, Tuesday said that there was a need for development in Jammu and Kashmir for which setting up of industries was necessary.

“Agricultural land will be protected, however we also want that like other parts of India, industries should be set in Jammu and Kashmir as well,” Sinha said in response to a question whether the Government of India had prescribed new laws enabling anyone to purchase land in Kashmir regardless of him of her being a domicile of the Union Territory.

Meanwhile, here are some of the amendments and changes the new MHA order announces:

In clause (l), for ―section 3 of the Land Acquisition Act, 1990 has been substituted with “the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013 (30 of 2013).
After clause (l), government has added: ―(m) ―Strategic Areas means an area notified as Strategic Area under sub-section (3) of section 3 of this Act.

In Section 3, after sub-section (2) the government has inserted sub section (3) which reads : “Notwithstanding anything contained in this Act, the Government may on the written request of an Army officer not below the rank of Corp Commander, declare an area as Strategic Area within a local area, only for direct operational and training requirements of armed forces, which may be excluded from the operation of this Act and rules/regulations made there under in the manner and to the extent specified in the declaration and the Government may satisfy itself about the reasons cited for declaring the area as strategic area and will have such area notified accordingly with such conditions as may be required.”

In section 5, “The Authority” with has been substituted with “Subject to any rule, regulation, order or instruction” while In sub-section (1), for ―for each of the zones into which the local area may be divided‖ substitute ―for such zones which are declared as development areas under section 13‖ and for ―each zone word “each such zone issued in this behalf by the Government, the Authority” has been substituted.

The government has also inserted a new section—Section 11 A after section 11 which reads as : Permitted land use and levy of land use charges ―11A(1) Upon coming into operation of the master plan or a zonal plan, the land use permitted in the area covered thereunder shall only be as provided in terms of such master or zonal plan. The provisions of the Jammu and Kashmir Agrarian Reforms Act, 1976, Jammu and Kashmir Land Revenue Act, Samvat 1996 or any other law for the time being in force requiring any permission to change the usage of any land, shall not be applicable to any land so covered. (2) The Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, notify a scheme for levy of charges for use of land as permitted in the master plan or the zonal plan, the proceeds whereof shall form part of the fund of the Authority and may be used to defray the expenses incurred on acquisition of land that may be required to be acquired in terms of section 50.
The section 13 has been substituted with Declaration of development area and permission for development etc. ―13. (1) After a notice approving the date of operation of plan is published under section 11, the Authority may, with prior permission of the Government and by notification in the Official Gazette, declare any zone or part thereof as development area for the purposes of this Act. (2) Notwithstanding anything to the contrary contained in any law for the time being in force, consequent upon such notification, no person including a Department of the Government shall undertake or carry out development of any land or building in the zone unless permission for such development has been obtained in writing from the Authority in accordance with the provisions of this Act: Provided that the development of any land undertaken by a Department of the Government or any local authority before the 31st day of October, 2019 may be completed by that Department or local authority. (3) No person or entity, whether private or public, including a Department of the Government or any authority, shall undertake the implementation of any street or layout plan, in any form whatsoever, in the local area outside the limits of a Municipal Corporation established under the provisions of the Jammu and Kashmir Municipal Corporation Act, 2000,without the prior written permission of the Authority: Provided that for the purposes of such permission, the Authority shall follow the procedure laid down in Chapter XIII of the Jammu and Kashmir Municipal Corporation Act, 2000, and any reference therein to the Corporation or the Commissioner shall be construed as reference to the Authority or the Vice-Chairman of the Authority, respectively: Provided further that the restriction under this sub-section shall not apply to the development undertaken by or on behalf of the Metropolitan Region Development Authority established under the Jammu and Kashmir Metropolitan Region Development Authorities Act, 2018, or to a town planning scheme implemented under the provisions of the Jammu and Kashmir Town Planning Act, 1963.

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