Friday, June 18, 2021
 News Details
Government Employee -“ A security threat“

B L Saraf

On 30th July 2020 , J&K Government came up with Order N0 738 empowering itself to terminate services of its employees who ,apparently , posed a security threat . Art 311 (2)( C ) of the Constitution has been invoked to aid and support such an action, as and when it is taken. To put this measure in operation , government issued Order No 355 , dated 21ST Aril 2021. These two orders , when read together , pave way for weeding out government employees who indulge in subversive activities . Clause ( C) became applicable to J &K in consequences of the August 5th 2019 constitutional developments . Order 738 supplies the substance while as the one numbered 335 prescribes procedure as how to proceed further in the matter . A Task Force , as contemplated by Order 738 with specific terms of reference , stands constituted .

The Special Task Force created will engage with members of Terror Monitoring Group to compile a list of employees to sack ,and recommend these employees to the committee for dismissal . This Order has been made in view of Art 311(2) ( C) of the Constitution which permits waving off an enquiry as contemplated by clause (2 ) When the provision is invoked termination of an employee will occur only on the perusal of records . As per some media reports government has prepared a list of about 500 employee likely to be shown the door .

This development is fraught with serious legal and political consequences . Whether a government employee can be terminated without holding an enquiry is a moot question . Some call this measure arbitrary and draconian in nature .The legal aspect can be taken care off as and when action is taken against an employee . The political angle , nonetheless , calls for an immediate examination. The words “anti-national “ and “ security risk “are too loose to be straitjacketed to fit on a person and condemn him as such . Presently , we are witnessing a nationwide phenomenon where these charges are leveled - literally at a drop of the hat – against the inconvenient political opponents and inquisitive journalists . This not so honorable game is being played by one and all , irrespective of hue of the government . In most of the cases higher courts have intervened in favor of the accused and come down heavily on the state authorities for resorting to such reckless tactics .

In our part of the country we are used to such a terminology much prior to it but since 1990 it started resonating in a high decibel tone . We continue to hear it when political expediency –and not the real security concerns –demand so .In 1990 , 1995 and 2016 many public officers /officials had to face music of the words ,and were either seriously censured or dismissed from the services . But such government actions didn’t last long . Either on the intervention of courts or by the imperatives of real politics, those censured were cleared of the stigma and the dismissed ones got reinstated without a blemish in their service record . Some among them ended their service career as the head of state bureaucracy. One notable public servant , among the lot , became an influential Cabinet member in the PDP/BJP coalition government, formed in 2015 .

Well , in 1990s such an action could be justified to some extent as it was dictated by the then prevailing circumstances . Because a section of government employees , with sectarian orientation , obeyed separatists more than the established state authorities . But today –if one has to believe state quarters concerned - political and security situation has hugely turned round in favor of the state .Holding of DDC elections , people across India thronging Tulip garden and other tourist spots in the Valley are the instances paraded all over to show Kashmir is peaceful now . And , it is true to a large extent . Therefore , such a move flies on the face of ‘normalcy narrative.’ Pushing up a ‘security threat narrative ‘ ,to day , would suggest that there are many in the state administration still holding brief for the terrorists . Rather than strengthening cause of the state it will give rise to a perception which may help revive the sagging morale of the undesirable elements .And , when we say that terrorists have been substantially neutralized such a move would look incongruous : therefore , rather doing any good to the government it will be an embarrassing matter for it . Surely , a wrong message will go out .

Jammu and Kashmir is going through troubled times on various accounts . Whole political structure much needed for a democratic set up of governance is in disarray People across regions feel alienated and neglected . The deadly COVID 19 has added to the woes of populace . There is preponderance of distrust between government and the people .At the time when state machinery should wage all winning war against the deadly virus it mustn’t be seen fighting its employees and increasing the trust deficit . Embarking upon the proposed action would result in accentuating the sense of alienation . This is time to carry everyone - especially the vital arm of the administration ,the employees - along with and , also , seek cooperation from all quarters . The present move will make employees jittery and shake their confidence which will have a debilitating effect on the state’s delivery system .

(The author is a Former Principal District & Sessions Judge)

(Disclaimer: The views, observations and opinions expressed in above write up of Scoop News are strictly author's own. Scoop News does not take any onus or liability for the veracity, accuracy, validity, completeness, suitability of any of information in the above given write up. The information, facts or figures appearing in the write up in no way manifest the position, standpoint or stance of Scoop News and the Scoop News does not assume any encumbrance or answerability of the same. All disputes are subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of competent Courts and Forums in Jammu City Only)

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