JK panel submits report to end decades-long seniority dispute of KAS officers

Jammu:  A high-level official panel has submitted its report to the Jammu and Kashmir administration for mitigating the seniority dispute of a large number of Kashmir Administrative Service (KAS) officers as there have been allegations of favouritism, illegal promotions and backdoor appointments, official sources said on Tuesday.
The administration had on March 2 constituted a committee to examine the seniority issue of the members of the Jammu and Kashmir Administrative Service in a time-bound manner.
“The report on the issue of the seniority of a large number of the KAS officers has been submitted to the government for resolution of the decades-long dispute as per rules,” the sources said.
As per the sources, the report has suggested a workable mechanism based on rules to finalise the seniority list of the officers of the Jammu and Kashmir Administrative Service.
The senior list of the officers should be prepared on the basis of year-wise vacancy while “backdoor appointees’ should be placed at the bottom of that particular year, the report, according to the sources, said.
Those who do not possess the minimum qualification of graduation should be placed completely at the bottom of the list irrespective of the year of “backdoor appointee’s empanelment”, it has suggested.
An officer, who joined the administration after qualifying the KAS examination, said the file is now with the general administrative department (GAD) and all eyes are on the “seriousness and swiftness” of the GAD and the Chief Secretary.
There are clear cut directions from Lieutenant Governor Girish Chander Murmu to resolve the dispute once for all strictly as per the rules without any favouritism and pressure, the sources said.
The decision about examining the seniority issue afresh was taken by the Union Territory administration after numerous representations were made by the delegations of the KAS officers to the Lieutenant Governor and the Chief Secretary BVR Subrahmanyam, they said.
The four-member committee shall work out the possible options for finalising the seniority list of KAS officers, appointed to the time scale with effect from January 1, 2004, to December 1, 2008, on normative basis and submit its report by March 31, 2020, the sources said.
Commissioner Secretary School Education Department; Secretary, Department of Disaster Management, Relief, Rehabilitation and Reconstruction; Secretary GD and Secretary, Department of Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs, are the members of the committee.
The committee is of the opinion that seniority issue would not have figured had the Jammu and Kashmir Administrative Service Rules 1979 been implemented in totality and without any arbitrariness, the sources said.
It has also been observed by the committee that at the “behest of certain influential or blue-eyed and backdoor officers of J&K Administrative Services, who were not eligible for the immediate benefit of the Rules of 1979, the injustice was done with the eligible officers”, they said.
“As per the records, there are a large number of backdoor officers and those without basic qualification who have been inducted into KAS over the years under the political patronage,” the sources said.
“Some of these backdoor and under qualified KAS officers sitting on prime posts in the administration were forwarded for their induction into IAS by totally bypassing rules and depriving senior KAS officers of their right,” they said.

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