Violating its own rules, the Law Department in Jammu and Kashmir has ignored several officers, including a woman officer, for promotion from its Urdu translation wing for the second time in as many years.
According to documents of the department, over 50 entry-level gazetted officers from its administrative section have been promoted to the next higher grade in the last five years.
As per the department’s rules for promotion of the entry-level gazetted officers — effective since 2011 — 10 per cent promotions are reserved for those in the translation wing.
However, this rule has been thrown to the wind as only two officers have been promoted from translation wing in the last five years.
In the latest promotion orders issued by the department on 27 December, while 27 officers from the administrative side were promoted to the next higher grade, only one officer from the translation wing was promoted.
Assistant Draftsman in Urdu Translation Cell of the Law Department Nahida Bashir was the woman officer left out for the promotion.
If the Law department had followed the 10 per cent quota, Bashir would have been included in the list of promoted officers as she was the next senior-most officer in her grade.
The two officers from the translation wing, who have been promoted, have served less than a year in their parent wing and have been deputed to other departments.
In fact, one of the two officers has been promoted as Deputy Legal Remembrancer from Assistant Draftsman (translation), indicating a change of cadre for him.
During the tenure of former Law Minister Basharat Bukhari, the department had initiated a process of repatriating all officers of the translation wing back to the parent wing but the process was abandoned after Mehbooba Mufti took over as Chief Minister and Bukhari’s portfolio was changed from Law to Horticulture.
When contacted, Secretary, Law Department, Abdul Majid Bhat, who issued the promotion orders last week, said he has followed the 10 per cent rule while formulating the list.
However, he could not explain as to why only two officers from translation wing were promoted against 50 from the administrative side.
We have followed the 10 per cent rule and we are in the process of looking into promotion avenues of other officers very soon, Bhat said over phone.
He also defended the action, saying the officers were merely given charge of higher posts in their “own pay and grade”.
Justifying the list issued last week, Bhat said since the translation wing had a separate directorate, the law department could have amended the rules to scrap the 10 per cent quota but we have no such intention.
It is pertinent to mention here that before the last rule amendment was carried out, the translation wing had a quota of 25 per cent in promotions which was whittled down to 10 per cent in 2011. PTI