All Hindus living in the Kashmir Valley cannot apply for benefits for Kashmir Pandits: J&K High Court

While dismissing the petitioners’ request for benefits under the package for return and rehabilitation of Kashmiri migrants, the Jammu and Kashmir High Court ruled that all Hindus residing in the Valley cannot be considered Kashmiri Pandits, allowing them to benefit from schemes designed specifically for Pandits.

In the year 2009, the Government of India gave Prime Minister’s Package for return and recovery to Kashmiri transients in Kashmir Valley. The said bundle was subsequently stretched out to non-transient Kashmiri Pandits too. In December 2020, the State gave an ad for topping off 1997 posts while conveying an enlistment drive. The notice was likewise open for the Kashmiri Pandits who had not moved.

Declining to acknowledge the expansive definition proposed by the solicitors, the Court noticed that in Rule 2(ca) is the term ‘Kashmiri Pandit’ signifies an individual having a place with ‘Kashmiri Pandit Family’ who has not relocated from Kashmir Valley after first of November, 1989 and is by and by dwelling in Kashmir Valley.

Using the common parlance concept, the Court described Kashmiri Pandit as members of a Kashmiri community speaking Brahmins who have lived in the Valley for generations and can be recognised by their attire, rituals, traditions, and so forth. It was held to be an independently recognizable local area unmistakable from different Hindus living in the Valley like Rajputs, Brahmins other than Kashmiri Pandits, Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, and numerous others.

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