The Centre on Tuesday introduced a new definition of domicile for Jammu and Kashmir and said a person residing there for at least 15 years will now be eligible to be a permanent resident of the Union Territory, The Indian Express reported. The new rule also grants domicile to those who have studied in Jammu and Kashmir for a period of seven years and have appeared for their Class 10 or 12 examinations from a school there.

The new rule was issued in the latest gazette notification, Section 3A of the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Adaptation of State Laws Order 2020, under the Jammu and Kashmir civil services decentralisation and recruitment Act.

Before August 5 – when the government abrogated the region’s special status under Article 370 of the Constitution and divided it into two Union Territories – the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly was constitutionally empowered to define a resident of the erstwhile state. These defined residents were alone eligible to apply for jobs or own immovable property.

The definition was expanded to include “children of those central government officials, all India services officers, officials of Public Sector Undertakings and autonomous body of central government, public sector banks, officials of statutory bodies, officials of central universities and recognised research institutes of central government who have served in Jammu and Kashmir for a total period of ten years or children on parents who fulfil any of the conditions in sections.”

Persons who are registered as a migrant by the Relief and Rehabilitation Commissioner (Migrants) in the Union Territory, will also be included in the definition.

Under the provisions of the Act, the tehsildar is the competent authority for issuing the domicile certificate instead of a deputy commissioner or any officer specially notified by the state government by way of a gazette notification in the form of a Self Regulatory Organisation.

The Centre has repealed 29 state laws and amended another 109 ever since Jammu and Kashmir’s special status was revoked last year. Section 5A states that no person shall be eligible for appointment to a post carrying a pay scale for not more than level 4 “unless he is a domicile of the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir”. Through the same order, the Centre has repealed the the Jammu and Kashmir Civil Services Special Provisions Act.