Lt Governor’s orders: Grounds for early retirement may be ‘public interest’ or professional performance
SRINAGAR: The J&K administration under Lt Governor Manoj Sinha on Thursday amended the service regulations for government employees in Jammu and Kashmir, paving the way for retiring them after 48 years of age or 22 years of service.
A notification issued by the Finance Department states: “In exercise of powers conferred under proviso to Article 309 of Indian Constitution, Lieutenant Governor has directed that Article 226(2) of Jammu and Kashmir Civil Service Regulations may be substituted as follows:
“226 (2): (a) Notwithstanding anything contained in these Regulations, Government may, if it is of the opinion that in the public interest to do so, require any Government servant other than one working on a post which is included in Schedule II of these Rules, to retire at any time after he has completed 22 years of qualifying service or on attaining 48 years of age, provided that the Appropriate Authority shall give a notice to Government servant at least 3 months before the date on which he is required to retire or 3 months of pay and allowance in lieu of such notice.”
The notification added: “Such a Government servant shall be granted pensionary benefits admissible under these rules on the basis of qualifying service put in by him on the date of such retirement.”
The notification states that “A Government servant who is retired immediately after allowing him pay and allowances in lieu notice will be entitled to pension from the date of such retirement and the pension shall not be deferred till after the expiry of the three months for which he is paid pay and allowances.”
Setting the Time Schedule to be followed, it stated that “the exercise of review of performance of the Government Servants will be initiated for each Government Servant for the first time after her/his completion of 22 years of Government Service or attaining 48 years of age and any time subsequently, as may be required.”
It further states that ”A register of the Government servants who are due to attain the age of 48 years or to complete 22 years of service has to be maintained by the Administrative Department. The register should be scrutinized at the beginning of every year by officers to be nominated by the Administrative Department concerned and the review be undertaken as mentioned in sub-clause (b).”
Thus, the government may, at any time after a government servant has attained the age of 48 years or completed 22 years of service, retire him in public interest.
The notification t further reads, “There is also no bar on the Government to review any such case again where it was decided earlier to retain the officer but the Administrative Department is of the opinion that it is expedient to undertake the review again on account of changed circumstances, in public interest.”
The criteria to be followed while making the recommendation of retiring a government servant have been specified as: “The integrity of the Government servant is doubtful; The Government servant is found to be ineffective in his/her work. The basic consideration in identifying such Government servants should be their fitness competence to continue in the post held and their utility for the purpose for which they are employed.”
The notification also specifies: “A Government servant retiring on superannuation within a next one year from the date of consideration of his case, may be retired under these regulations, where there is a sudden and steep fall in the competence or efficiency of the Government servant. Retiring a person is in public interest and his/her continuance is not serving any public purpose.
“A Government servant is ineffective, if, his service during the preceding 5 years or since his last promotion has deteriorated suddenly or substantially. This is not a consideration, however, where the Government servant is to be retired on grounds of doubtful integrity.”
The notification mentions that “All relevant portions of the entire service record of a Government servant may be considered at the time of review. The review should not confine to the consideration of the ACR/APAR dossier only. The personal file of the Government servant may contain valuable material. Similarly, his work and performance could also be assessed by looking into files dealt with by him or in any papers or reports prepared and submitted by him. Even uncommunicated remarks in the ACRs (APAR)s may be taken into consideration as well as any other records which are material to the decision.”
The recommendations of the Review Committee will be put up for consideration and orders of the Lieutenant Governor.
“While considering the case of the Government employees, the Review Committee shall ensure that there is sufficient material in support of its recommendation clearly outlining the grounds for such retirement and supported by well reasoned recommendations. The recommendations shall be the basis for the order to be issued by the Appropriate Authority under these regulations,” the notification says.
“After issue of the orders of premature retirement, the concerned Government servant may put up representation for orders otherwise, within three weeks from the date of service of order and the matter may be placed before the Representation Committee to be constituted for the purpose.
“The examination of the representation should be completed by the Administrative Department within eight weeks from the date of receipt of the representation.
The Representation Committee shall forward its recommendations to General Administration Department for orders of Lieutenant Governor in coordination,” the notification says.
“For the purpose of this regulation, the ‘Appropriate Authority’ shall mean the Government in the General Administration Department,” it says.