There was no attempt to tamper with the act governing the permanent resident certificate (PRC) in the state, Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik asserted on Sunday, as he said such reports were "frivolous and unfounded". Earlier on Sunday, National Conference vice-president Omar Abdullah in a letter had expressed concern over the reports of changes proposed to the procedure of granting permanent residence certificates in the state.
In reply to Abdullah's letter, Malik said his administration is not making, or even considering, any changes to the act.
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"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 Certificate 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," the governor wrote in a letter to the NC vice-president.
No changes in the procedural rules governing the issue of PR certificates would ever be done without larger consultations with all stakeholders, Malik said.
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"Consultations are essential so as to avoid any unnecessary apprehensions in the minds of anyone. To the best of my knowledge, nothing off the sort is being contemplated at the moment nor have any decisions been taken. However, in view of the concerns expressed by you, I will assure you that nothing will be done to modify the procedures for issuing PR certificates," he said.
The governor said seeking a PRC is one of the services under Jammu and Kashmir Public Service Guarantee Act of 2011 and as per the act, a PRC by a genuine state subject applicant should be obtained within 30 days from the date of application.
He, however, said it was observed that many genuine applicants face avoidable difficulties in getting a PRC within this timeline.
"There have also been complaints that the issuance of the certificates gets delayed due to a variety of procedural reasons. It is in this context of having a hassle-free process for bona-fide applicants that I believe the Revenue department has sort comments from few others. This is a routine administrative matter and unnecessary meaning should not be read into it," Malik said.
Malik asked Abdullah to not pay heed to "such frivolous and unfounded reports".
"In fact, you have an obligation to dispel rather than promote unnecessary mistrust among people and are always welcome to discuss issues with me, which you have been doing once in a while," he said in the letter to Abdullah.
He also pointed out that the fax machine at Raj Bhavan was working and Abdullah's fax had been received and confirmed by his office "while you (Abdullah) were tweeting that it was non-functional".
Abdullah had said the fax machine was not working.
Abdullah, in his response to the governor letter said he was grateful to Malik for his timely and detailed reply and also pleased to note that no changes were being proposed to the PRC rules.
"Fax received from @jandkgovernor Malik Sahib which I'm sharing here. I'm pleased to note no changes are being proposed to the PRC certificate rules," he said on Twitter.