Srinagar, May 2: In a first, a government teacher was fired from his services in north Kashmir district of Kupwara without holding any inquiry ‘in the interest of the security of the state’.
However, the termination of the government teacher has attracted huge criticism from civil society and political leaders and Employees Joint Action Committee (EJAC).
“The Lieutenant Governor is satisfied under sub-clause (c) of the proviso to clause (2) of Article 311 of the Constitution of India that in the interest of the security of the State, it is not expedient to hold an enquiry in the case of Idrees Jan, Teacher, Government Middle School, Kralpora, Kupwara,” an order of the General Administration Department (GAD) read.
The order further said that Lt Governor after considering the facts and circumstances of the case and on the basis of the information available that the activities of Mr Jan are such as to warrant his dismissal from service.
Official sources said that Mr Jan was booked under Public Safety Act (PSA) in 2016. However, they said that he was released and reinstated as a teacher after J&K High Court (HC) quashed his detention under PSA.
Appealing to Mr Sinha to revisit the termination order of the teacher, Apni Party (AP) president Syed Mohammad Altaf Bukhari on Sunday said India is not a fragile country that a poor teacher can prove detrimental to its security concerns.
Bukhari said that it seems that some elements within the system have misled the Lt Governor on such a sensitive subject which has fueled the level of insecurity and alienation among the people especially the employees working in the government sector.
He said that it is ironical that the accused teacher was not provided any opportunity to speak or defend himself against the charges leveled against him. Bukhari said that the order smacks of an autocratic tone thus eliminating all privileges enjoyed by a citizen living in the world’s largest democracy having a free and fair judicial set-up in place.
Meanwhile, expressing resentment over the termination of a teacher by government on charges of being allegedly involved in anti national activities, Employees Joint Action Committee (EJAC) said the decision was autocratic and not democratic. “It is a partial decision and biased too where an employee is dismissed from his service and not allowed to put his point across or clear his stand. Among the pillars of democracy one of the strongest is judiciary in which the deprived lot entrust their faith and seek justice.
As laid in the constitution of India, a convict can even reach out to the President of the Republic of India and appeal for justice. India being the largest democracy in the world confers this privilege to its citizens. But unfortunately the decision seems more of an autocratic set-up rather democratic,” EJAC President Fayaz Shabnum said.
The J&K government on April 21 constituted a Special Task Force (STF) to identify and scrutinize the government employees, and lodge cases against those who pose a threat to the country’s security or are involved in ‘anti-national activities’.
The STF under the chairmanship of Additional Director-General of Police, Criminal Investigation Department (CID) has been scrutinizing the cases of employees suspected of being involved in activities requiring action under the proviso (C) of Article 311(2) of the Constitution. Under the proviso (C) of Article 311(2), the government is empowered to terminate an employee without recourse to the normal procedure if it is satisfied that his or her retention in public service is prejudicial to the security of the state.
Several political parties, including Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), National Conference (NC), Peoples Conference, CPI(M) and Apni Party have criticized the government for setting him the STF, describing it ‘draconian’ and ‘arbitrary’.
The STF was asked to compile records of such employees and refer them to the committee constituted last year.
Last year in July, a committee headed by J&K chief secretary and comprising administrative secretary home department, DGP, administrative secretary GAD, additional director-general of police, CID and administrative secretary department of law, justice and parliamentary affairs was set up to scrutinise and recommend cases under the proviso (C) of Article 311(2).