Thursday, September 23, 2021

J&K launches portal to redress Kashmir migrants’ immovable property distress

Lieutenant Governor of Jammu & Kashmir, Manoj Sinha on Tuesday, September 7, launched an online portal for the Kashmiri migrants to reclaim their immovable property.

Launching the portal, the Lt. Governor said that the portal will redress the grievances related to Kashmir migrants’ immovable properties in a time-bound manner.

About the portal

The online portal (http://jkmigrantrelief.nic.in) provides a platform to the distressed Kashmir migrants to file a complaint whose immovable properties were encroached or were forced for distress sale in the 1990s.

During the launch, the Jammu & Kashmir Lt. Governor informed that the relief and rehabilitation department has been assigned the task to develop the portal for the migrants to file complaints regarding distress sale, record correction, illegal occupancy, etc.

The portal has been active for the past two weeks on a trial run (using a web link) and has received 745 complaints since then for tampering of records, demarcation, encroaching, trespassing among others.

Major takeaways

Lt. Governor Sinha informed five major takeaways with the launch of the portal. In addition to the facility of complaint filing on the portal, under the Public Services Guarantee Act, 2011, such complaints received on the portal have to be dealt with on a timely basis.

He asked the Deputy Commissioners to conduct a field review and survey of the properties within 15 days, update the register and submit a compliance report to the Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir.

Lt. Sinha also ordered the Deputy Commissioner to take cognizance of the Act under which such violation has been made, and take actions in a time-bound manner against the illegal occupant. The Deputy Commissioner has been assigned the task to take into custody such property and hand it to the migrant family.

He stressed that the relief and rehabilitation activities shall be done in a time-bound manner within the set rules and regulations.

Relief to Kashmir Migrants

While addressing the occasion, the Lt. Governor said that the initiative will provide relief to the Kashmiri migrants who have been facing distress for 24 years. This includes 60,000 people who left Kashmir, of which 44,000 people have registered with the relief organizations, while others chose to leave the UT. This includes 40,142 Hindu families, 2,684 Muslim families, and 1,730 Sikh families.

Jammu & Kashmir Migrant Immovable Property Act

The Jammu and Kashmir Migrant Immovable Property (Preservation, Protection and Restraint on Distress Sales) Act, 1997 was enacted to provide for the preservation, protection, and restraint on distress sales of the immovable property of the migrants.

The word ‘migrant’ refers to any person who has migrated from [Kashmir Valley or any other part of the State] after 1st November 1989 and is registered as such with the Relief Commissioner and includes a person who has not been so registered on the ground of his being in service of the Government in any moving office, or having [left the Valley or any other part of the State], in pursuit of occupation or vocation or otherwise, and is possessed of immovable property [at the place from where he has migrated] but is unable to ordinarily reside there due to the disturbed conditions.

Earlier, Lt. Governor Manoj Sinha on August 13, 2021, had ordered the full implementation of the Immovable Property Act for the Kashmiri Pandits and had directed the authorities to take action against anyone violating the J&K Migrant Immovable Property Act 1997.

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