Honour provisions of Amendment Act: GAD to officers
CECs convey serious concern to Lt Governor
JAMMU, Mar 31: The newly created Union Territory of Ladakh is facing peculiar situation as most of the Directors and Heads of the Departments are issuing orders of transfers and postings of the officers by completely ignoring Autonomous Hill Development Councils in blatant violation of the law enacted in the year 2018.
The Governor of the then State of Jammu and Kashmir had on October 6, 2018 approved amendments to the Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council Act, 1997 while exercising the powers vested under Proclamation No.P-1/18 of 2018 dated June 20, 2018.
As per the Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council (Amendment) Act, 2018, all the Government employees in the Leh and Kargil districts are the employees of the respective Autonomous Hill Development Councils.
Sub-Section 1 of Section 40 of the Amendment Act read: “All the Government employees in the districts of Leh and Kargil except the judicial employees and police personnel shall be deemed to be the transferred employees on such terms and conditions to be notified by the Government from time to time. Provided that the terms and conditions of service of an employee of the Government transferred to the Councils shall not be varied to his/her disadvantage”.
Sub-Section 2 of Section 40 of the Act read: “The Chief Executive Officer may with the prior approval of the Executive Council take action against any employee transferred to it under Sub-Section 1, under rules governing their service conditions including instituting a departmental inquiry and taking the disciplinary action in accordance with such rules”.
Similarly, Sub-Section 3 of Section 40 of the Act states: “The Chief Executive Officer may with the prior approval of the Executive Council transfer any employee transferred to Council under Sub-Section 1 within the district”. Likewise, Sub-Section 4 of Section 40 read: “The Chief Executive Officer shall be the reporting authority for all district level officers/officials transferred under Sub-Section 1”.
However, in blatant violation of these provisions of the Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council (Amendment) Act, 2018, most of the Directors and Heads of the Departments in the newly created Union Territory of Ladakh are ordering transfers and postings of the district level officers by completely ignoring the respective Autonomous Hill Development Councils, official sources told EXCELSIOR.
“Several transfers and postings have been made by most of the Directors and Heads of the Department on the pretext that they were not having knowledge about the provisions of Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council (Amendment) Act”, sources further said, adding “this stance of the Directors and HoDs is totally unacceptable as they were supposed to be aware of the land of the land”.
They further said, “all those officers who were kept at the disposal of Union Territory of Ladakh following bifurcation of the then State of Jammu and Kashmir should not only be aware of the local laws but also those Central Laws which have been made applicable to this UT”.
The blatant violation of Act was recently brought to the notice of Lieutenant Governor of Ladakh UT R K Mathur by the Chief Executive Councillors (CECs) of Kargil and Leh Hill Development Councils, sources said, adding they told the Lieutenant Governor that such an action on the part of Directors and Heads of the Department was nothing less than undermining the powers of the Hill Councils.
Accordingly, the Lieutenant Governor passed instructions of the Commissioner Secretary General Administration Department of the Ladakh Union Territory Rigzian Sampheal, who has now issued clarification in this regard.
“It has been observed that departments are effecting transfers and postings which are outside their jurisdiction and authority and within the powers of Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Councils”, read the order issued by Rigzian Sampheal, the copy of which is available with EXCELSIOR.
The order further read: “It is clarified and reiterated that in the interest of administration, transfers of all district cadre officers be made by the Chief Executive Officers of the Hill Councils with the prior approval of the Executive Council”.
The GAD Commissioner Secretary has explicitly told the Directors and Heads of the Departments to ensure strict compliance to the provisions of the Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council (Amendment) Act, 2018 for smooth functioning of the administration.