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    J&K Governor trashes Omar’s charge, says not changing Act on permanent resident certificate

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    Srinagar, Dec 2: Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik said Sunday his administration was not considering any changes to the legislation governing permanent resident certificates (PRCs) in the state, after political parties accused him of the same.

    Satya Pal

    "At the outset, I would like to mention that the government is not making or even considering any changes to the act governing permanent resident certificates in the state. It is an integral part of the legal structure of Jammu and Kashmir and there is no attempt whatsoever to tamper with this law," Malik said in a letter addressed to former CM Omar Abdullah, who had opposed the move in a letter.

    "As for the matters in the rest of your letter, I would like to highlight that no changes in the procedural rules governing the issue of PRCs will ever be done without larger consultations with all stakeholders. Consultations are essential so as to avoid any unnecessary apprehensions in the minds of anyone," the governor said.

    Also Read Governor changing permanent residency rules in J&K, alleges political parties

    However, he said, "in view of the concerns expressed by you, I will assure you that nothing will be done to modify the procedures for issuing PRCs". "I may like to point out here to you that seeking a PRC is one of the services under the Jammu and Kashmir Public Services Guarantee Act of 2011.

    "There have also been complaints that the issuance of these certificates gets delayed due to a variety of procedural reasons. It is in this context of having a hassle-free process of bonafide applicants that I believe the revenue department has sought comments from a few others. This is a routine administrative matter and unnecessary meanings should not be read into it," he said.

    Article 35A of the Constitution empowers the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly to define 'permanent residents' of the state who are eligible for special rights and privileges, which the legislature can provide.

    The Supreme Court is currently hearing a bunch of petitions seeking abrogation of Article 35A, which was added by a presidential order in 1954 through Article 370 of the Constitution. Earlier Sunday, the former chief minister wrote to the governor, saying the National Conference would oppose any move to change the procedure to grant PRCs in the state.

    As per this act, a PRC by a genuine state subject applicant should be obtained within a period of 30 days from the date of application. It has been observed that many genuine applicants face avoidable difficulties in getting a PRC within these timelines.

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