ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Land Laws of Jammu and Kashmir

Material Consequences and Political Ramifications

The new land laws implemented by the union government in Jammu and Kashmir are cataclysmic, as they seek to upend a legal structure that emerged out of one of the most successful land reforms in South Asia. The earlier land order is considered one of the main reasons for the lower levels of poverty in the region and sustaining a distinct political, economic and cultural milieu within J&K. These new laws therefore do not merely affect land transactions but can potentially alter the basic societal structure of J&K.


Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) is undergoing a seismic reorganisation. The union government is steamrolling its project that started with the unilateral abrogation of Articles 370 and 35-A in August 2019. The state was bifurcated into two union territories which came into existence on 31 October 2019, through the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act (JKRA), 2019. This act is quite exhaustive in its scope and objectives, which is being slowly but persistently implemented in the erstwhile state of J&K.

Among other things, this act allowed the union government to independently amend the provisions of different acts applicable in the state, including itself, for one year since its implementation (Section 96). The union government exploited this provision to introduce a slew of measures, including the rules of conduct of business within the newly constituted union territories, the domicile law for jobs, and the land laws. This “undemo­cratic” exercise of power becomes more problematic when one realises the profundity of the changes that these laws aim to bring in the political structure, cultural and the socio-economic structure of the erstwhile state.

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Updated On : 25th Jan, 2021
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