*GAD, Home Deptt major violators of Transfer Policy
JAMMU, Jan 20: Establishing that ‘transfer industry’ is still active in Jammu and Kashmir, the PDP-BJP Coalition Government has made nearly 2000 pre-mature transfers including those of IAS, IPS and KAS officers during the past 21 months in blatant violation of Transfer Policy laid down with the approval of State Cabinet. Moreover, a total of 450 attachments/ deployments have been made during this period without availability of posts to ensure comfort of ‘influential’ and ‘blue-eyed’ officers and officials.
Astonishingly, the General Administration Department, which should act as role model for other departments and has to ensure strict adherence to the Transfer Policy, is the major violator followed by the Home Department both headed by none else than the Chief Minister.
In pursuant to the Cabinet Decision No.156/12/2010 dated July 27, 2010, the State Government vide Order No.861-GAD of 2010 dated July 28, 2010 notified a comprehensive Transfer Policy, which lays down the broad principles to be followed by all the designated authorities while effecting transfers/postings orders.
As per the Transfer Policy, the minimum tenure of a Government employee on a post shall be two years and a maximum of three years and the maximum tenure of posting in respect of important projects which are required to be completed in a time bound manner may be extended up to five years if continuation of an officer is considered necessary.
The policy says that while effecting transfers, the eligibility and suitability of the concerned employee and the interest of the Government work shall be given the utmost priority and posting shall be made on a rotational basis to sensitive and non-sensitive (non-field posts) which shall be identified by the departments. Moreover, it says that the convenience of the employee may also be considered provided it doesn’t affect the interest of the Government work.
As far as premature transfers are concerned, the policy says that such transfers can be made wherever unavoidable that too in the interest of the administration and shall be ordered while recording the plausible reasons. According to the policy, a Government employee may be transferred even before the completion of minimum tenure if not in the public interest or in the interest of administration to allow the employee to continue on a post for a full tenure; the performance of employee is found to be below job requirement and the transfer is sought on health grounds supported by the medical certificates issued by the duly constituted medical boards.
However, this explicitly laid Transfer Policy has been violated blatantly and frequently by the PDP-BJP Government during the last 21 months. According to the official data placed in the Legislative Assembly by the Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, who is also Minister Incharge General Admini-stration Department in response to the question of BJP MLA from Kathua, Rajeev Jasrotia, a total of 1939 pre-mature transfers were made by different departments from April 1, 2015 till date.
Though proper reasons have been recorded by the designated authorities for ordering pre-mature transfers in several cases yet nothing has been mentioned in respect of huge number of such transfers and the column of reasons has been left blank, reveals the data the copy of which is available with EXCELSIOR.
Astonishingly, the General Administration Department, which should act as torch-bearer for other departments in ensuring strict adherence to the decisions taken by the Cabinet—the highest decision making body, is the major violator of the Transfer Policy. This department has made a total of 468 pre-mature transfers of IAS, IPS and KAS officers during the past 21 months followed by Home Department which has made 288 such transfers. Pertinently, both these departments are headed by none else than the Chief Minister.
Food, Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs Department is at the third spot with 236 pre-mature transfers followed by Public Health Engineering and Irrigation and Flood Control Department with 179 pre-mature transfers. The Finance Department has made 131 such transfers, Forest Department 127, Power Development Department 113, Health and Medical Education 78, Planning and Development Department 67, Public Works Department 44, Animal Husbandry Department 39, Technical Education and Youth Services and Sports 34, Transport Department 33, Labour and Employment and Industries and Commerce 22 each.
If such a large number of pre-mature transfers were made strictly as per the provisions kept in the Transfer Policy then an inference can be drawn that either such a large number of officers including those of IAS, IPS and KAS cadres were not functioning up to the satisfaction of the Government or only they have the competence to effectively look after different assignments.
Another inference can be that such a large number of employees are not in the pink of the health as interest of the administration, poor performance and health grounds are the only grounds for pre-mature transfer of the employees as per the policy approved by the State Cabinet.
The perusal of the data reveals that several IAS officers were transferred from one post to another within a span of four-five months while as in several cases sensitive after sensitive postings have been given to certain officers in blatant violation of Transfer Policy which states that posting shall be made on a rotational basis. Moreover, in the engineering departments several pre-mature transfers were made from one project to another project despite the fact that Transfer Policy explicitly states that maximum tenure of posting in respect of important projects which are required to be completed in a time bound manner may be extended up to five years.
The data further reveals that several pre-mature transfers were made on the instructions of the Ministers within a period of few months that too without recording any solid reason. Such a practice was more frequent in the engineering departments. In certain departments like the Health and Medical Education, the pre-mature transfers have badly affected the functioning of offices/institutions particularly in the rural and far-off areas.
According to the data, the Government also ordered 450 attachments/deployments without availability of posts during the past 21 months. This clearly establishes that comfort of ‘influential’ and ‘blue-eyed’ officers and officials was dearer to those who ordered such attachments/ deployments.
The maximum attachments/ deployments without availability of posts have been made in Agriculture Department followed by Rural Development and Public Works Departments. The data reveals 67 attachments/deployments by Agriculture Department, 66 and 65 by Rural Development and Public Works Department respectively.
The other departments are Tribal Affairs (20), Industries and Commerce (38), Horticulture (10), Technical Education and Youth Services and Sports (43), Public Health Engineering and Irrigation and Flood Control (45), Planning, Development and Monitoring (12) and Revenue (32).
It has also come to the fore that in several cases frequent modifications of the transfer orders were made at the behest of the top officers and Ministers despite the fact that Transfer Policy clearly states that orders once issued must be strictly complied with and should be modified only under compelling circumstances. “The reversal of transfer orders once made must be a very rare event and to be resorted to only in exceptional cases for which reasons shall be recorded in writing”, the Transfer Policy says.