By Daya Sagar
Government of India stopped the provision of superannuation pension ( those appointed on or after w.e.f 01-01-2004 ). replacing that with National Pension Scheme some thing like contributory provident fund related pension scheme (An independent Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority -PFRDA to handle that ).Erstwhile J&K State government also discontinued pension for those appointed on or after 01-01-2010.Any one who investigates the economics of this change will surely find that the scheme of pension that existed earlier / still exits for those appointed earlier to 01-01-2004 is surely more beneficial to retirees more particularly the way the benefits of Pay Commissions and DA revisions are as a routine being also extended to pensioners as well.Mr. XXX retired in 4/2013 getting then Basic 35770 plus DA 25754 total Rs61524/pm , he started with Pension of Basic 17885+DA 14308= Rs32193/pm and he is now in June 2020 getting pension of Basic 46800+ DA 5616= Rs.52416.
Had the pension to be stopped, it should have been stopped for all retiring after 01012004 (with some fixed one time benefit ) / it should have been stopped for MLA/MPs too atleast elected after 01-04-2004 / It should have been stopped for defence services too if stopped for new appointees in police & para forces. Surely it has not been fair use of Art309 of constitution of India and /or Section- 124 of J&K Constitution to discontinue retirement pension to young entrants and that too only for some.
The case with the NC- Congress Govt. new recruitment policy under Order No.257-F of 2011 dated 27-10-2011 surely was no different;and J&K Special Recruitment Rules, 2015, notified vide SRO-202 of 2015 dated 30.06.2015by PDP-BJP Government under Section-124 by order of the Governor were in a way re-carnation of unfair policy where under even some gazetted posts too could be brought fair. Omar Abdullah the then CM of J&K had tweeted on 20th May 2014< “I am bringing a proposal to the J&K Cabinet on Wednesday and I’m proposing scrapping the ‘New Recruitment Policy’ with immediate effect,” “This is based on feedback that I’ve received from countless youth spread across the length and breadth of the state over last the two days,” > Some say he did so fearing Oct 2014 elections. Omar Sahib may contest that but such happenings surely show how casually / to one’s whims the politicians play with the issues related to common man.
Sh Girish ChanderMurmu Lt Governor UT of J&K has attempted to make a fair use of Art-309 of Constitution of India for doing some corrective surgery on SRO- 202 of 30 June 2015 and to make some reformistic dressing of his own Government’s S.O 184 of 04-062020 {the Jammu and Kashmir Appointment to Class IV (Special Recruitment Rules ) 2020}. To be brief the LG – by getting issued S.O 192 of 17-06-2020 (Jammu and Kashmir Probationer – Condition of Service Pay and Allowances and Fixation of Tenure Rules 2020), Notification S.O 193 of 17-02-2020 ( Amendments in the Jammu and Kashmir Appointment to Class-IV Special Recruitment Rules-2020 – amending S.O 184) and Notification 194 of 17-06-2020 (Jammu and Kashmir Special Recruitment Amendment Rules-2020 – amending SRO-202 )has got reduced the probation period from 5 yr to 2 yrs ( without annual increments as well as allowances during probation ) for those already appointed under SRO- 202 of 2015 ( with only notional benefits) and those to be appoint after this date..Although may not be that appreciated by all , but still it has been a beginning for the start of meaningful corrections, though ‘half’.
But had the political leadership taken timely the needed ” interest with commitment” for getting applied corrections then there were all chances of the bureaucracy too fairly / rationally apprising the Lt Governor for keeping the general terms of appointment during 2 years of probation period atleast for the substantive posts and Mr. G.C then Murmu LG would have surely kept the as contained in S.O 192 of 17-06-2020 well in tune with THE INDIAN ADMINISTRATIVE SERVICE (PROBATION) RULES, 1954 (Rule 3 Period of Probation for every person direct recruited shall be two years. As per Rule -13 Salary during the period of probation), CHAPTER VII ACCRUAL OF INCREMENT :72. An increment accrues from the date following that on which it is earned as well as like are there in J&K CSR 83 REGU. OF PROGRESSIVE OR TIME SCALE PAY CHAP. VII( Note 2—- the second annual increment of Rs. 25 p.m. raising their pay to Rs. 300 p. m. will not be drawn by them till they are declared to have completed their period of probation satisfactorily and are confirmed). Ofcourse for such appointment all allowances like DA, HRA,TA,CEA,CCA,CHSA etc are paid from the day of appointment itself. Surely even this ‘half’correction of 17th June 2020 has broughtsome relief to many helpless families who were suffering under the provisions of the ‘unpopular actions’ of the popular governments. I am saying half correction because still there appears questionable wisdom in keeping 2 year Probation period even for Doctors ( Degree Holders) and that too on a substantive graded post that too denying during probation period all allowances like DA, HRA,CCA, Transport Allowance , Child Education Allowance (CEA) , Child Hostel Subsidy Allowance (CHSA),etc,which would surely sound unfair to any rational wisdom worth even socially / professionally questionable.
Suchconditions of service could be laid for some specific / particular positions / posts but can not be made a general rule like it has been done now under S.O 192 (J&K Probationer – Condition of Service Pay & Allowances and Fixation of Tenure Rules 2020) where under it could also apply to even recruitments made for KAS/KPS/ Engrs through PSC unless in a particular case directions for exemption from S.O192 are issued ( Rule- 9 exemption for a certain class/category of post/ service )
Even Memo No.28020/l/2010-Estt(c) 21-07-2014 supra issued by the GOI MoP, PG&P (Department of P & T) does talk of one to two years probation depending upon type of recruitment process but it does not talk of non payment of annual increment ( that otherwise an employee earns over one year ).
But even if some one goes to court against such like irrational actions / policies of governments , it will not so easily go against the government since Art-309 protects Government even if the action / policy appear not fair / in human/ violating basic fundamental rights / right of equality of some citizens. The helplessness of 1947 WP refugees even officially cultivating lands in J&K since 1954 , discrimination with woman permanent residents (PRs) of J&K, no reservation for ST in JK Assembly, total denial of government jobs/ seats in government professional colleges / right owning land in on JK in J&K State are not unknown irrational facts that survived under shelter of Art35A of COI where even the highest Court had shown helplessness. It could be only social pressures and human considerations that if projected with real concern before the LG of J&K, who is occupied with so many issues in a UT like J&K, would surely make the LG to apply some corrections to the contents of SRO-202 / SO 192.193,194 of 17-06-2020 as regards allowances/ increments/place of first posting /transfer during period of probation / etc.
Some more actions like the ones discussed herei.eallowing private practice to only government doctors to increase their income and not to other employees, discontinuing the pension scheme for employees appointed from 01-01- 2004, the Special recruitment rules like SRO -202 of UT of J&K and now S.O 192 ,193,194 of 17-06-2020 could be quoted .
Art 309 “empowers” President, Governor of a State and Lt of UT to endorse even the arbitrary actions / bad proposals of the political governments even if the actions have bad / recurring implications for some individuals or the governments to follow.
So there is need to look for some major changes in the democratic operating systems for taking the issues like pensions of government employees, the pay policy for government employees , issues like retirement age, general appointment rules etc to the immediate domain of the Legislature only so thatthe politicians in the power corridors can’nt work only as per their whims as has been projected by some in case of SRO-202 .
( * Daya Sagar is a Sr Journalist & analyst of J&K Affairs. [email protected] 9419796096)