*58 yrs old ‘obsolete’ rules still governing appointments
JAMMU, Jan 8: Notwithstanding storm over alleged ‘illegal’ appointments in the Secretariat of Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Assembly, the exercise of updating the Recruitment Rules of Secretariat of both the Houses of State Legislature, which was initiated several months back, has not reached the logical conclusion till date and the recruitments are still being governed by 58 years old ‘obsolete’ rules.
The existing rules—J&K Assembly Secretariat (Recruitment and Conditions of Services) Rules and that of J&K Legislative Council were framed way back in 1959 and no serious efforts were made since then to update the same so as to ensure utmost transparency in carrying out recruitments, official sources told EXCELSIOR.
They informed that numerous posts were created from time to time to ensure smooth functioning of Secretariat of both the Houses of State Legislature but no seriousness was shown towards updating the Rules, which otherwise was an imperative step to define the mode of making recruitment.
According to the sources, about 15 years back an exercise was initiated in the Legislative Assembly Secretariat and accordingly draft Recruitment Rules were framed. Even a formal proposal in respect of finalization of draft Rules was forwarded to the Government in 2001 followed by chain of reminders but because of procrastination no fruitful results could be obtained.
They said that major lacuna in J&K Assembly Secretariat (Recruitment and Conditions of Service) Rules, 1959 is that they give powers to Speaker to make appointments but the mode of making such appointments is not clear and this was the key aspect of the findings of the State Vigilance Organization (SVO) in the alleged ‘illegal’ appointments case. The premier investigating agency of the State had also recommended that Government should frame Rules for governing mode of selection/appointment of the candidates for filling up the posts/making appointments in Assembly Secretariat so that irregularities are not committed in future.
Keeping all these aspects in mind, the Minister for Law, Abdul Haq Khan, while chairing a meeting of Secretary Legislative Assembly, Secretary Legislative Council and senior officers of the Law Department on August 4, 2016, had issued directions for updation of Recruitment Rules of Secretariat of both the Houses of State Legislature. For this exercise he had fixed deadline of 15 days.
He had even asked the Secretaries of Legislative Council and Legislative Assembly to pay equal attention towards the promotional avenues of the employees of their respective Secretariat while updating the Recruitment Rules, sources informed.
However, despite lapse of more than five months this process has not reached the logical conclusion, sources said while expressing inability to specify any time-frame for notification of new Recruitment Rules keeping in view the lengthy exercise yet to be followed in this regard.
When contacted, Secretary of Legislative Council Abdul Majid Bhat said, “we have completed the exercise and after the approval of the Chairman of the Council the draft of the Recruitment Rules has been submitted to the Department of Law”.
Mohd Ramzan, Secretary of Legislative Assembly, when approached, said, “we are seized of the issue and taking all the required steps”.
However, sources said that much exercise is yet to be conducted for taking the steps initiated by the Council and Assembly Secretariat to the logical conclusion. “After examining the draft Recruitment Rules, the Department of Law will have to consult Department of Administrative Reforms, Inspections and Training as well as Public Service Commission before giving final shape to the exercise of Legislative Assembly and Legislative Council Secretariat”, they added.
“ARI and Trainings Department is required to be taken on board for the non-gazetted posts while as Public Service Commission has a role to play as far as Gazetted posts are concerned”, they said while disclosing that consultations with these two key agencies have yet not began.