J&K Government Seeks Proof of Appointments for Over 990 Officials, Including Judges

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Out of the affected officials, 541 belong to the Health and Medical Education Department, followed by 128 from the Irrigation and Flood Control Department

SRINAGAR: The Jammu and Kashmir government has asked 990 officials to produce records of appointments, which also includes two district and sessions judges.

The government has issued a directive to all its administrative departments, urging them to submit ‘supporting documents’ that can vouch for the legitimacy of these appointments.

The deadline for submission has been set for November 15, 2023, and a committee led by the principal secretary of the Finance Department will oversee the verification process.

Officials expressed astonishment at the inclusion of two judicial officers in this list, given that their appointments are typically verified by the High Court upon assuming their roles.

The General Administration Department (GAD) has disclosed that the salaries of these officials have been withheld since the implementation of the JK-HRMS (Human Resource Management System) in October 2022 due to the absence of their initial appointment orders.

In an office memo dated October 31, 2023, the GAD has called for various ‘supporting documents’ to validate the authenticity of these appointments.

Out of the affected officials, 541 belong to the Health and Medical Education Department, followed by 128 from the Irrigation and Flood Control Department, and 83 from the Education Department.

Several other departments, including Industries and Commerce, Home, Jal Shakti, Public Health Engineering, Agriculture Production, Consumer Affairs and Public Distribution, Finance, Forests, General Administration, PWD, Department of Hospitality and Protocol, Revenue, Rural Development, and Science and Technology, have also been impacted.

The requested supporting documents encompass the authenticated first page of the service book, with relevant entries related to the initial appointment, recommendations from SSB/PSC (in the case of direct recruitment), entries in muster rolls or related records regarding wage payment before regularization (for contractual/daily wage/ad-hoc employees), and references to appointments in official records.

All these documents must be submitted to the GAD before November 15 for review by the committee, which comprises the Director General of Accounts and Treasuries, along with representatives from the GAD, ARI & Training, and the Department of Law, Justice, and Parliamentary Affairs.

The JK-HRMS, launched in October 2022, was designed to offer an integrated platform for employee-related services.

The government’s decision to release salaries for October 2022 only to employees registered or updated in the JK-HRMS has been defended by a senior UT administration officer, citing the receipt of supporting documents for numerous employees.

Presently, there are more than five lakh employees in Jammu and Kashmir. The number of contractual employees is close to one lakh who are hired by various departments against existing vacancies. Out of them, just 3.5 lakh are registered with the JK-HRMS.

Recently a circular issued by the General Administration Department (GAD), which is headed by Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha, warned employees against staging any demonstration. It said that any such act would be treated as serious indiscipline and misconduct.