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Process of compassionate appointments


We very often keep on lamenting about the general perspective of constituting of committees usually of high ranking officers in the UT Administration to submit reports, suggestions, amendments required and other recommendations in respect of an issue of importance in the light of the general unsatisfactory response particularly in respect of the time factor. In other words, seldom is heard that reports were submitted well in time so as to enable the Government proceed ahead and take the requisite decision quickly. We know that there are rules under which the next of kin or nearest relationship of a Government employee dying in harness getting employed in a grade and rank usually lower than what was held by the deceased employee or as per the status of the educational qualifications of the prospective surviving beneficiary. As it was felt that in the existing relevant rules, there were either shortcomings, discrepancies or the same being sans suitably befitting structured scheme. On the other hand , much desired reforms and changes in the entire issue have already been conveyed through judgments of the Supreme Court in respect of the appointments to be made on compassionate grounds. Added to all this, well devised schemes being implemented by the Government of India in the subject matter created enough opportunities to have an entire relook into the entire gamut of making appointments on compassionate grounds in Jammu and Kashmir. It is contrary to expectations that the committee / panel of bureaucrats constituted for reviewing the entire process of compassionate appointments in Jammu and Kashmir in the light of the judgment of the Apex Court as also the well structured schemes implemented by the Central Government, should be looking to have turned so casual. It also meant to take a holistic view of the existing SRO-43 of 1994. Besides, the norms of identifying and earmarking vacancies in each department of the UT Government too was considered imperative to lend a sense of purpose to the very objective of making appointments on compassionate grounds. It is, however, surprising that even after the set deadline of such exercise having elapsed, nothing of the sort in terms of review and recommendations cum submitting of a report on the matter has taken place. Well, the very premise of compassion should evoke the requisite interest and zeal to walk a step or two more than expected or to feel motivated in expediting the process but there is no word from the panel as to by which date the task would be completed. On the other hand, that there should be no proper and updated data in respect of the entire subject compiled by the Government particularly number of appointments made under SRO -43 during the last ten years, is yet another instance of a casual approach. That would have made fixing of reservation of vacancies in Government department under the norms of the Central Government quite easy. On the other hand, peculiarity of Jammu and Kashmir needs to gauged in that such appointments are required to be made as early as possible in respect of the nearest relatives of those employees who attained martyrdom while discharging their duties and hence it is enjoined upon the administration to see how best the surviving family members of the martyrs were looked after. However, when even appointments were not made in time which is the right of the surviving close family member, it denotes total apathy and an indifferent approach. Usually, there are bipartite settlements between the unions of the employees and the Government whereby such issues and various provisions are well spelt out so as to work and implement the process of appointments smoothly. We do not envisage that such a welfare measure based on compassion and commiseration should be treated so casually that the entire process gets in deep quagmire of insensitivity. A time frame of 30 days is by no means any small period and that also for a panel to accomplish the assigned task and that too for a noble cause. We hope that all the requirements needed to make SRO-43 in tune with the GOI norms and directives of the Supreme Court would be attended to seriously and the entire process of compassionate appointments made comprehensively workable immediately following receipt of the recommendations from the panel of the bureaucrats.

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