Jammu and Kashmir news
With the ongoing row between Deputy Chief Minister Nirmal Singh and Chief Secretary Mohammad Iqbal Khandey over transfers and postings of officers, the frail relationship between the political class and the state administration has been laid bare again.
The relationship between the political masters and the administration clearly lacks coordination and the two barely get along well. On May 29, Shakti Pathak (ODD) had shot off a letter on behalf of Nirmal Singh to the Chief Secretary for immediate revocation of the transfer order of Majid Khalil Ahmad Drabu. The KAS officer was transferred and posted as Special Secretary to the ruling government, from the post of Special Secretary to the Government, Health and Medical Education Department. He had argued that this transfer cannot be executed without the Cabinet’s approval.
A day ago, the Officer in special Duty to Deputy Chief Minister wrote to the administration to not allow transfer or posting of any officer in his department on orders issued by the General Administration Department (GAD).
The Dy CM holds the portfolios of two key departments- Power Development Department and Housing and Urban Development. The GAD, under the control of Mufti, had transferred the a few KAS officers on the orders of the Chief Secretary. On May 28, the GAD posted Umesh Sharma to the Power Development Department. On May 29, two KAS officers, namely Kapil Sharma and Naresh Kumar, were transferred and posted as Additional Deputy Commissioner, Jammu and Additional Secretary to the Government, PDD respectively.
In another order, the Subdivisional Magistrate Sunaina Sharma was transferred and Minister for Social Welfare Department Bali Bhagat was not consulted prior to the respective posting.
However, bringing up these matters in public domain is just a reflection of the working relationship missing between the ruling political class and the administration, which should rather be avoided, said BR Kundal, former Chief Secretary. He added that the cabinet is competent to bring amendments in Business Rules and the old practice, powers have been delegated to the Chief Secretary to transfer officers in respect of GAD.
Vijay Bakaya, another former Chief Secretary said that the propriety demands that the minister concerned should be consulted prior to effect any transfer and posting of any officer posted in the personal section of his department. In addition, these procedural methods should not be brought in the public domain.