picture credit: tribuneindia.com
In a significant move today, the Centre notified that there is no longer a legal bar on purchase of land in J&K by outsiders and that any Indian Citizen can buy land in the Union territory (UT) by amending several laws.
Over a year after the nullification of Articles 370 and 35A of the Constitution, the Centre repealed or substituted 26 state laws. In a gazette notification, the Centre has now 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 the abrogation of Article 370 and Article 35-A, non-residents could not buy any immovable property in Jammu and Kashmir. However, the fresh changes allow non-residents to buy land in the union territory.
Although, the amendments do not allow transfer of agricultural land to non-agriculturists, 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. The amendments can be seen as a significant move towards integration of Jammu and Kashmir with rest of the country.