By Daya Sagar Then Governor Narendra Nath Vohra, a decorated ex- senior civil servant had shown intentions for action against the corrupt order as well as the corrupt officials. The people who knew Vohra well had started suggesting that Governor rule in J&K should remain for some more time so as to accomplish the ‘project – corruption clean India’ that in a way the BJP lead NDA Government in Delhi has been promising to Indian people. Satya Pal Malik who has taken from Vohra in August 2018 too has of course expressed no different intentions. Before this also J&K has remained under Governor / President rule from 26-03-1977 to 9 July 1977 (Congress withdrew support from Sheikh Mohd Abdullah Government), from 6-3-1986 to 7-11-1986 ( when the government lost majority), 19-1-1990 to 9-10-1996 due to insurgency/ militancy,18-10-2002 to 2-11-2002 due to no party getting majority in elections and from 11 July 2008 to 5-1-2009 after PDP withdrew support from Ghulam Nabi Azad lead government / indecisiveness after 2009 assembly elections. No doubt during Governor rule government in general cannot take major decisions but in the case of J&K at least at occasions some notable legislative as well as administrative decisions / actions have been taken by the governor administrations like some have been taken after August 2018 even by Satya Pal Malik administration. During Jagmohan’s rulealso a process was initiated for giving premature retirement to senior officers invoking the provisions Rule 226 (2) of the Jammu and Kashmir CivilService Regulations and orders like Govt. Order No. 300 GR of 1986 dated 25-4-1986, Government order No.189GR of 1986 dated 11.4.1986, 1986, Govt.order No. 947 GR of 1986 dated 31 July 1986, etc were issued but since during the time of popular government the petitions challenging some of the orders were not that well contested during judicial / legal review or were not administratively well structured (since all retirement benefits that are extended as goodwill gesture were not disallowed ) and hence got relief at some stages from in the courts. So, therefore, before any such order is issued Governor administration must for a test check study call the case files of officers and court case records concerning orders like Govt. Order No. 300 GR of 1986 dated 25-4-1986, Government order No.189GR of 1986 dated 11.4.1986, 1986 and Govt. order No. 947 GR of 1986 dated 31 July 1986 so that any loop holes, where ever left in 1986, could be plugged this time. And in case it is also found that in some case terminations were done unfairly, care has to be exercised to ensure that social honor of no family is unduly damaged. In addition to administrative incompleteness some more lacuna may be there like the officers who were given premature retirements in 1986 were not denied superannuation gratuity and retirement pension. The ‘affected’ officers would have used these gestures to establish their ‘good’ conduct and as defence against the extreme penalty imposed. Not only that may be some engineer or senior officer removed from services / prematurely retired in the interest of administration with only reason mentioned in the order /’displayed’ in the ordered that the services of the concerned officer were no more required had used the fact like his / her having been promoted in a regular fashion from the level of Asstt Engineer / Assistant Director to the level of a Chief Engineer / Director pleading that how could the services of an efficient officer be treated for premature retirement as not required in the interest of administration / publicmentioning only age or length of service rendered as the criteria. To quote the language of orders issued could have been like” whereas the Governor is of the opinion that it is in the public interest to do so. Now, therefore , in exercise of the powers conferred by Art 226(2) of Jammu and Kashmir Civil Services Regulations , the Governor hereby gives notice to Shri………………… that he having already attained 48 years of age shall retire from service with effect from the afternoon of …………. He is allowed three months pay and allowances in lieu of three months notice. By order of the Governor of Jammu and Kashmir sd/- Secretary to Government “. Not only that one who is removed by such like orders could also contest before a court for justice that he / she has been arbitrarily removed from services and although it has been with pensionary / gratuity benefits intact but still socially people could take the spirit behind the order as that of his/her being “corrupt” and pray for not only relief in the shape of quashing of the orders even if one had only a few years of service still to go but can also ask for some compensation for social goodwill loss. No doubt some may profess that in the prevailing socio -administrative environment the APRs are rarely written in time, the APRs are managed by many to choice and those with “contacts’ can manage even promotions & decorations that the affected person could use during litigation as defence. Which is why the screening committees have to be serious and analytical as regards the jobs assigned to it both in the interest of the Government as well as the official who is being ‘reviewed’ for possible action that could impose extreme penalties. After 1986 also where ever any orders for premature retirement (like those issued after June 2015) have been issued by the Government of Jammu & Kashmir most of them have been quashed by courts since they too have been suffering from similar lapses due to non serious processing of the case files before issuing orders although that were with intentions of imposing extreme penalties but still issued as ‘pre mature’ retirement orders (in public interest) keeping the superannuation benefits intact. So, if atall the governor administration has any plans of the type under review in 2019 the orders for premature retirement of government employees should be well made and self speaking so that neither the government is let down nor the honor of the family of any person ( otherwise not ‘corrupt’) is hurt. (Daya Sagar is a Sr, Journalist & Social Activist can be reached at email@example.com)
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