SRINAGAR: Terming it an attempt to alter the demography of the state, J&K High Court Bar Association on Monday expressed concern over the “contemplated change” being brought into the procedure of issuing Permanent Resident Certificates (PRC) by the revenue department.
A Bar Association spokesperson in a statement issued here said that though Governor Satya Pal Malik has clarified that his administration was not making or considering any change in the procedure governing the issuance of PRCs in Jammu and Kashmir, but with that he has also stated that seeking a PRC was one of the services under J&K Public Services Guarantee Act.
“As per the said act, a PRC should be obtained within a period of 30 days from the date of application and as many applicants face avoidable difficulty in getting a PRC within these time limits, therefore, having a hassle-free process, the revenue department has sought comments from few others, which is a routine administrative matter, which runs contrary to what he has assured,” he said.
“It is thus obvious, that a process has been initiated by the revenue department to change the procedure for issuing PRCs, which are being issued under J&K Grant of Permanent Resident Certificate (Procedure) Rules, 1968, which envisage that on receipt of an application for grant of Permanent Resident Certificate,” the spokesperson said adding that an enquiry shall be held in the matter and the competent authority shall also hear and record brief statement of the applicant and the witnesses produced by him or summoned or called by him, on his own motion.
Any change brought in the procedure for grant of PRCs contrary to what is contained in the Rules of 1968, is bound to have serious repercussions and as such the issue of making any change in the procedure should be shelved once for all, Bar said.
Meanwhile, the Bar members also expressed their anguish over the arrest of the mother and two sisters of a militant and the subsequent shifting of the two sisters to New Delhi on the suspicion of being involved in the killing of a BJP worker and his brother, about a month back.
This is a flagrant violation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other International Covenants, the members said.
The Bar members also expressed their concern over the falling health of JKLF chief Muhammad Yasin Malik and demanded that he should be immediately released.
They also criticised the jail authorities, both within and outside the state for “maltreating” Kashmiri prisoners.