Aggrieved can submit representation within 10-days
JAMMU, Aug 5: On the basis of recommendations made by a high-level committee, the Government has issued draft redrawn seniority list of the officers of the Jammu and Kashmir Administrative Service (KAS) appointed between January 1, 2004 and December 1, 2008.
Any officer aggrieved with the position assigned to him/her may submit representation to the General Administration Department within a period of 10 days so as to facilitate the Government in the finalization of the seniority list as early as possible.
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Though the issue of seniority of the KAS officers was debated in the past by some Government panels yet the same could not be resolved for one or the other reason even after several rounds of litigations in the Supreme Court as well as High Court and strong resentment was prevailing among the officers of the elite service of Jammu and Kashmir.
The present Government in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir vide order No.440-JK(GAD) dated April 1, 2020 constituted a committee to examine the seniority issue of the members of Jammu and Kashmir Administrative Service commonly known as KAS appointed to the Time Scale of the service between January 1, 2004 to December 1, 2008 and work out the possible options for finalizing the seniority list on normative basis.
The committee submitted its report on May 16, 2020 which was accepted by the competent authority with the further directions that the committee shall redraw the seniority of the members of the service appointed to the Time Scale between January 1, 2004 and December 1, 2008 based on the principles/findings laid down by the committee.
Accordingly, on the basis of its findings/recommendations, the committee prepared the seniority list which was placed before the Establishment-cum-Selection Committee in its meeting held on June 22, 2020 for consideration and making recommendation in the matter.
The Establishment-cum-Selection Committee after taking note of the principles laid down by the committee considered and recommended the redrawn seniority of members of Jammu and Kashmir Administrative Service appointed between January 1, 2004 and December 1, 2008.
The recommendations of the Establishment-cum-Selection Committee were approved by the competent authority and accordingly a draft redrawn seniority list of the members of Jammu and Kashmir Administrative Service appointed between January 1, 2004 and December 1, 2008 as it stood on January 1, 2010 has been notified for seeking objections, if any, within a period of 10 days from today.
“The seniority list shall be without prejudice to the cases of officers pending in any court of law for one or the other reasons and without prejudice to any writ petition pending before any competent court”, reads the Government order.
The committee has recommended that inductions made with effect from January 1, 2004 and December 1, 2008 are necessarily to be governed by the Jammu and Kashmir Administrative Rules, 1979 and the officers who are appointed to the Time Scale from feeding services and Junior KAS direct recruits are “promotion cases” while as the officers who are selected to the Time Scale of KAS from the departments other than the feeding services are “direct recruitment cases”.
It has further mentioned that the officers who have been appointed to the Time Scale of KAS by way of promotion (from Junior KAS and feeding services) should be given the year of induction against the vacancies of which these officers were appointed into the Time Scale of KAS or year of their placement against such higher post (when they were placed in officiating capacity against Time Scale post of KAS) whichever is later subject to the condition that the officers held eligibility for getting such induction at that time.
“The officers inducted into KAS during the course of year though on different dates should be considered for grant of notional induction/seniority from January one of the year”, the committee has further mentioned, adding “the appointment to the Jammu and Kashmir Administrative Service by way of selection of officers belonging to departments other than the feeding services may be considered a direct recruitment process for which appointment cannot be considered retrospectively”.
The committee has opined that the vacancies should be calculated and allocated to different groups strictly as per Rule 5 of the Jammu and Kashmir Administrative Service Rules, 1979. However, the Government has taken conscious decisions regarding determination of vacancies from time to time to manage the cadre depending upon the circumstances existing at relevant point of time.
“The inter-se merit of the officers published by the Public Service Commission at the time of selection becomes irrelevant once they are appointed by promotion to the KAS in terms of 1979 Rules”, the committee said, adding “the inter-se seniority of the offices promoted to the KAS has to be determined in terms of provisions of Rule 16 of KAS Rules, 1979 read with basic provisions regarding seniority in Government service laid down in the CCA Rules, 1956”.
It has mentioned that utilization of leave reserve and training reserve by the Government has been a conscious decision at the relevant point of time for better management of the cadre of KAS.
“The Junior KAS officers are required to be promoted to the Time Scale in terms of eligibility criteria as was applicable under the extant rules. However, seniority of the members of the service appointed to its Junior Scale was regulated under the J&K Civil Services (CCA) Rules, 1956 which means their inter-se seniority was drawn based on the merit scored by them in PSC examination when they were selected into Junior Scale KAS”, the committee said.
It has further mentioned that the inter-se seniority among the officers promoted from feeding services/selected from persons referred to in Clause-C of the Sub-Rule 1 of Rule 5 of J&K Administrative Service Rules, 1979 and officers promoted from Junior Scale KAS has been redrawn, as per their recruitment ration as defined under Sub-Rule (3) of Rule 5 of J&K Administrative Service Rules, 1979—-maintaining 3:1 ratio from top to bottom in a calendar year.
About the officers appointed substantively in the feeding services became eligible for induction into the Time Scale of KAS in 1997, the committee opined that these officers should be given notional seniority from the year when slots were earmarked for them (but they could not be inducted owing to non-finalization of their seniority in feeding service) or year of placement against such higher post (when they were placed in officiating capacity against Time Scale of KAS), whichever is later, subject to the condition that the officers held eligibility for getting such induction at that time.