J&K fails to implement SC’s directions during past 20 years
*CS, GAD asked to reveal plans to end prevailing practice
JAMMU, Aug 8: Shocking it may sound but it is a fact that Supreme Court’s directions aimed at checking adhocism in the departments of Jammu and Kashmir Government and grant of promotions on incharge basis have not been implemented during the past 20 years. This has been viewed seriously by a Division Bench of the High Court comprising Justice Rajesh Bindal and Justice Rajnesh Oswal, which has even passed strictures against the Government.
Moreover, the Division Bench has directed the Chief Secretary and Secretary to the Government, General Administration Department to reveal plans as to how the Government intends to bring an end to the prevailing practice, which is also generating lots of litigations.
Even all the Government departments have been directed to furnish information on seven key points before September 4, 2020 when the matter will be examined afresh by a bench to be constituted by the Chief Justice of J&K High Court.
The Apex Court of the country while dealing with a case titled Suraj Parkash Gupta and Others Versus State of Jammu and Kashmir and Others in the year 2000 had deprecated the grant of promotion on incharge basis in Jammu and Kashmir and had observed, “the State of J&K has been flouting basic rules of recruitment by granting relaxation of the rules of direct recruitment as also the rules requiring consultation with the Public Service Commission/ Departmental Promotion Committee for promotions/ recruitment by transfer”.
In order to ensure that this is not done in future, the Supreme Court had directed the J&K Government to appoint a high-level committee within a month to go into the question as to whether in any department in Government direct recruitment of existing vacancies has not been made and if there was unreasonable delay.
“The State will consider making direct recruitment expeditiously depending on the needs in the service and other relevant factors. But it will ensure that no promotees are put in the direct recruitment quota, temporarily or on stopgap and ad hoc basis unless simultaneous proceedings are initiated for direct recruitment through the Public Service Commission”, the Supreme Court had further directed.
The committee will recommend in what manner the direct recruitment could keep pace with promotions as contemplated by rules. Moreover, the committee will find out in which department the adhoc/ stopgap promotees are languishing without their cases being referred to the Public Service Commission/ DPC for regularization within their quota and the State of J&K will ensure that no relaxation of the basic recruitment rules is made for direct recruitment through PSC or for purposes of regular promotions/recruitment by transfer.
However, despite lapse of 20 years (two decades), the directions of the Supreme Court have not been implemented and this has been viewed seriously by a Division Bench of the J&K High Court comprising Justice Rajesh Bindal and Justice Rajnesh Oswal while dealing with a Writ Petition titled Ghulam Hassan Rather Versus Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir and Another.
“What is seen in the then State of J&K and now the Union Territory of J&K is that the judgment of Supreme Court is being complied with less and violated more, as practically in all the departments, promotions are being made on incharge basis and this practice is prevalent more in engineering departments without any logical ground”, the DB said.
How an employee, who is substantively working on the lowest post, can be given the charge of a highest post in the department without there being regular promotions? DB asked, adding “no one knows their seniority position. It is the local adjustment made claiming that he is senior most available and there being a vacancy he should be given charge of that”.
“These employees continue working on that post for years together and whenever any transfer is sought to be made, they approach the court and persuade to grant interim relief and as a result of that, continue on the same position for years together”, the DB further said, adding “this course adopted by the different departments is generating avoidable litigations as many of the employees approach the court raising the plea that they are senior to the person who has been given charge of some higher post”.
Not only this, such a course also demoralizes other employees in the department and results in adhocism in the working of different departments of the Government. “The duties, which are required to be discharged by senior and experienced persons, are being handed over to the juniors. Another facet of this system is that the employees already in service don’t let the posts of direct recruitment filled up and usurp the same by adopting this system”, the DB said, adding “with this practice being followed, the very object of having fresh talent at different levels in the department is defeated. This also results in delayed recruitments and as a result many of the eligible candidates may be over age by the time vacancies are advertised”.
Observing that because of adhocism lots of litigations are being generated by the Government, the DB sought comments from the Government as to how this system can be put to an end and all recruitments and promotions are made strictly in terms of the rules governing the post and not incharge basis.
“The system is being followed despite strict observations made by the Supreme Court way back in the year 2000. The report of the high-level committee so appointed shall also be placed before the court”, the DB. However, for the present the DB directed all the departments to give details vis-a-vis total sanctioned cadre strength in each of the cadres; the notified service rules governing the post; number of posts to be filled up from different sources, such as direct, promotional (giving source of feeder cadre wise, wherever relevant), deputation etc; number of actual employees working in each of the cadres; whether the incumbents holding the posts are regularly recruited or promoted as per rules or given charge of the post concerned; if any of the employee has been given charge of a higher post, the date from which he is continuing on that post and the substantive post held by him and seniority list of each cadre, as on which date and when the same was circulated before finalization and if any of the seniority lists are still under finalization, reasons for delay.
The DB directed that the copy of the order be sent to Chief Secretary and Secretary to the Government General Administration Department for filing their response in the matter.
J&K fails to implement SC’s directions during past 20 years