Will Dr Shah Faesal be tried in the court of law?


Dr Shah Faesal is a celebrated IAS officer from Jammu and Kashmir and the biggest reason is him topping one of the toughest exams in India back in 2009. This showed a window of hope to many in the valley to a future that was not only secure, it was heavily endowed with respect in all circles of life. The IAS officer, however, breached a confidentiality clause by recently taking to social media website Facebook and writing a post  giving an aperture to his anger in words that, by law, can get him in legal trouble.

Shah Faesal

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The post was celebrated in the valley and outside and garnered all the attention it was written with intent to garner.

Also Read: ‘We are prostitutes used by politicians’ – Says J&K Cop on Facebook

The catch here is the breach of confidentiality clause by Dr Shah Faesal described here:

Clause 2 of the Freedom of Speech riders for the civil service ethical code of conduct

It states that an officer shall not make any public utterance that would embarrass relations between –

State and union.

State and state.

India and any foreign country.

It further goes on to say that a serving officer cannot criticise the policy of the union/state government.

It also clarifies that he or she needs permission to write in a newspaper (assuming blogs are included in the category of newspapers).

Taken From Firstpost

All of the above are a requisite to abide by. 

If Dr. Shah Faesal, has chosen to write his views that are in direct conflict with the above, either he had the permission from the State and the Centre, something highly unlikely or he did not care two hoots about defying something of a lawful requirement of him.

The possible reason that both the state and the central governments have allowed this action to go unnoticed, is the turmoil in the valley which could get worse if an action is taken against the IAS officer, currently the Director of School Education in Kashmir.

Also Read: Is no one from Kashmir appearing in KAS exam this year?

It is no debate either that Dr Faesal’s ire at his picture being juxtaposed with a militant in an attempt to show ‘Two Faces’ of Kashmir was fair according to many. But the IAS officer faltered when he attacked the very government he serves and from which he threatened to resign.

As a top official, with a sizeable social media following, any wrong action can influence a lot of people. It is not only unscrupulous, it is also downright boorish when you write on a social media platform that the government is killing its own people.

His attack on the media would more or less be ignored in time but simply because one has a version that is being countered by another’s version does not make the countering version wrong. Dr Faesal wrote that the media was “breeding more alienation and anger in Kashmir than what Indian state can manage.”

In a casual reminder, another IAS officer, Ajay Singh Gangwar, was transferred from Madhya Pradesh for a Facebook post. The IAS officer had praised Jawaharlal Nehru and this is not very old. One is forced to imagine how and why has Dr Faesal remained untouched for writing comments of much poorer quality.

Has anyone even knocked on the doors or the chief secretary of Jammu and Kashmir bringing to his attention that unless the Chief Secretary clarifies, it would be assumed that he allowed for this piece of writing. That is the chain of command.

There is a reason that many IAS officers become whistle-blowers, tell-alls but all of that happens after their tenure of service gets over. As a government servant, there is a code of conduct to be followed that allows for a system to function and you Sir, blew it to splinters!