63 Civil Servants Shown Door

Axe falls on 3 doctors, 5 KAS officers, 2 chief engineers and 1 MD l; Performance review to be regular feature: Akhtar

SRINAGAR:  The State Government has dispensed with the services of 63 civil servants as a part of the process to remove deadwood from the administration amid allegations of letting off the bigwigs and tainted police officials. 

Announcing the decision at a press conference here government spokesman and education minister Nayeem Akhtar said out of the 63 officers/official, whose services have been terminated, 25 involve trap cases by various anti-graft bodies, 11 include cases involving disproportionate assets and 27 are miscellaneous cases.

The terminated officials include three doctors, five KAS officers, two chief engineers, a principal and a managing director from 14 departments of the state, sources said. 

Akhtar said the decision to dispense with the services of these tainted officers and officials was taken by a high-level committee headed by the Chief Secretary. The other members of the Committee, he said, included Principal secretary to the Chief Minister, Principal Secretary Home, Commissioner Secretary General Administration Department (GAD) and Secretary Law.

Akhtar said the sacking of these officials involves invoking of the existing clause of J&K Civil Services Rules (JKCSR), as per which the Government has to assess the performance of an officer/official after he/she completes 48 years of age or 22 years of service. “By today’s action the Government has just reiterated the essentiality of this clause,” he said and added that performance review of the civil servants would be henceforth a permanent and regular feature in administration and the services of the officers/officials whose performance is not upto the mark or who have integrity issues would be dispensed with.

Akhtar said this is a part of the larger process of infusing accountability and transparency in governance.

In 2005, Transparency International, a non-governmental body, tagged Kashmir as second corrupt state in India.  

Ironically, except for five lower rung police officials, including one SHO, no tainted police officer was found in the list.

“I agree vigilance system is not working properly. Conviction rate is low there. A proper process has to take place to terminate anyone’s services. But no one is above law. Those who have committed misappropriations, law will catch up with them too,” said Akhter in response to queries about not having any top police official in the list despite pending cases against many.

He said the Government is also going to strengthen State Accountability Commission (SAC) to ensure transparency at political levels.

Legislator Engineer Rashid described the list of tainted officials as incomplete. “Why no action is taken against corrupt politicians?” asked Rashid, an MLA from north Kashmir’s Langate constituency.

“As the power flows from the top and in the democratic form of governance it is politicians who control the bureaucracy, therefore any political dispensation needs to take a high moral ground, but unfortunately the current Mufti regime seems to have lost that ground as it has given political asylum to most corrupt bureaucrats including Asgar Ali, Khurshid Alam, Mahboob Iqbal and many others”, Rashid said. 

“Why no action is taken against corrupt politicians?”

Laughing Away Tough Query

SRINAGAR: Admitting that the vigilance system has not been working effectively in the state, government on Wednesday said there was neither prosecution nor the conviction in vogue against the tainted officials.

Chief spokesman Naeem Akhtar said that the government is committed to take stern action against all those officials who are found violating the norms and indulging the corrupt practices. 

Akhtar’s remarks drew laughter when he read out the names of some low rung police officials against whom action has been taken. “ Ranjit Singh police station Nagroota. Head Constable, ASI Abdul Qabeer, SHO Manwal,” Akhtar read out the names of the police officials against whom whip has been cracked and the laughter among the journalists grew louder. “Why you guys are laughing. These are the facts which I am presenting before you,” Akhtar said while witnessing laughs all around him by the journalists. 

Pertinently, people are raising serious questions over such a measure of the state dispensation wherein they say only small fish have been caught in the net while as the senior politicians have been left unscathed.

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