Timely dissemination of information


Central Record Rooms of the Revenue Department have not been preserving documents relating to Permanent Resident Certificates (PRCs) in a manner which facilitates retrieval and traceability as and when required thereby harassing the bonafide citizens of the State as well as defeating the objective behind their establishment.This came to the fore during the proceedings before the State Information Commission (SIC) in a 2nd appeal filed under the provisions of Jammu and Kashmir Right to Information Act, which has been disposed of with the direction to the Commissioner/ Secretary to the Government, Revenue Department to initiate steps so as to avoid harassment of the people by those at the helm of affairs in the Central Record Rooms. In the 2nd appeal, it was submitted before the State Information Commission by the appellant that Public Information Officer (PIO) in the Central Record Room and First Appellant Authority/Regional Director, Survey and Land Records Jammu had denied him complete record of a PRC case on the pretext of non-traceability.
The Central Record Rooms have been established with the objective of preserving all important records particularly relating to revenue matters and Permanent Resident Certificates and J&K has the unique distinction of having the permanent residence feature for its citizens and there are various special laws in the State which restrict the purchase of immovable property by persons who are not permanent residents of the State and the employment under the State Government is available only to permanent residents. The documents relating to grant of Permanent Resident Certificates are of paramount importance but it has been found that those posted in the Central Record Rooms plead non-traceability of records in most of the cases of this nature and every organization has its own rules for preserving or destroying the old records but the records which are not supposed to be destroyed are sent to the Central Record Rooms of the Revenue Department for preservation as such the organization cannot claim that the records are not traceable.
Whenever a person applies for issuance of PRC, he is asked by the revenue authorities to produce revenue records including the PRCs of their parents and grandparents for establishing that he is an offspring or descendent of a permanent resident of the State. However, when the applicant applies for copies of old records, the authorities in the record room tell him that the old records are not traceable.

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