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A Kashmiri woman will not lose residency rights if married to a non-permanent resident and a Pakistani will not get Kashmiri citizenship by marrying a Kashmiri woman

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A post is being shared on social media with a claim that the Article 370 is completely anti-national as it allows a Pakistan man to get Kashmiri citizenship by marrying a Kashmiri woman but denies the Kashmiri citizenship to Kashmiri women who marry men from other states of India. Let’s try to analyze the claim made in the post.

The archived version of the post can be found here.

Claim: According to Article 370, if a Kashmiri woman marries a person from a different state then the girl will lose her Kashmiri Citizenship. But, if she marries a person from Pakistan then that Pakistan man will get Kashmiri Citizenship.

Fact: According to the J&K High Court judgement in 2002, the Kashmiri women will not lose her residency rights if they marry a man from another state. Also, a Pakistan man will not get Kashmiri citizenship if he marries a Kashmiri woman. Hence the claim made in the post is FALSE.

There are two parts in the claim: One is Kashmiri woman losing Kashmiri Citizenship and the other is Pakistan men getting Kashmiri Citizenship. Let’s check each one of them individually.

Kashmiri Women losing Kashmiri Citizenship or Residency rights
When searched for the information on this issue on Google with keywords ‘Kashmiri women loses citizenship if married to non-citizen’, an article by Business Standard on this issue can be found in the search results. According the article, the former Advocate General of Jammu and Kashmir government Ishaq Qadri told PTI, “This issue was settled by a full bench of Jammu and Kashmir High Court in the case titled State and others vs Dr Susheela Sawhney and others in October 2002 by striking down the provision of the state subject (permanent residency) law according to which women marrying outsiders would lose their permanent resident status“. Also, when looked at the judgement of the J&K HC, it can be found that the judgement reads: ‘In view of the majority opinion, we hold that a daughter of a permanent resident marrying a non-permanent resident will not lose the status of permanent resident of the state of Jammu and Kashmir.’ The same can be found in the document prepared by the Lok Sabha Secretariat.

As per news reports, the Jammu & Kashmir Government confirmed that it had no intentions to re-introduce the Permanent Resident Women Disqualification Bill contradicting the 2002 High Court judgement. This bill was supposed to nullify the J&K high court judgment. But the J&K government did not go ahead.

Pakistan men getting Kashmiri Citizenship by marrying Kashmiri women:
In the document prepared by the Lok Sabha Secretariat, it can be found that the 1927 notification of Maharaja Hari Singh talks only about acquiring of residency rights by a female spouse (who is a non-citizen) from the husband (who is a citizen). It does not talk about men acquiring residency rights from marrying women (who are citizens of Kashmir). It can be found in a document uploaded by ‘The Hindu’ that this provision is being ‘interpreted as also suggesting that a woman from Jammu and Kashmir who marries outside the state would lose her status as a state subject.’

The HC court judgement in 2002 retained the residency rights to Kashmiri women, who marry non-permanent residents, but the judgement did not explicitly mention anything about the status of her child and non-permanent resident spouse. According to an article in the Economic Times, even in 2019, ‘the women of the state still can’t pass on their state subject rights to their children and non-permanent resident spouses.’ So, any man, who is not a permanent resident of Jammu and Kashmir, marrying a woman from Jammu and Kashmir will not get Kashmiri citizenship, he may be either Pakistani or Indian.

To sum it up, a Kashmiri woman will not lose residency rights if married to a non-permanent resident as per a J&K High Court judgment of 2002 and a Pakistani will not get Kashmiri citizenship by marrying a Kashmiri woman.

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