The Jammu and Kashmir administration has said that government employees will be terminated from service and also become ineligible for promotion in the event that they are found to have been involved in any act of ‘sabotage, espionage, treason, terrorism, subversion, sedition/ secession, facilitating foreign interference, incitement to violence or any other unconstitutional act.’
According to a report by LiveLaw, an order issued by the government states that in case a government employee fails to report his/her relatives and acquaintances who might be ‘directly or indirectly’ involved in activities hostile to ‘India’s national and security interest’ then even in such a scenario, the government employee will be held liable and could face termination.
“Failure to report relatives, persons sharing residential space or associates who are connected with any foreign Government, associations, foreign nationals known to be directly or indirectly hostile to India’s national and security interests”, the order reads.
The order was passed pursuant to the Jammu and Kashmir Civil Services (Character & Antecedents) Instructions, 1997 which governs the conduct of a government servant during the tenure of his/her service. These rules contain various provisions covering a wide range of activities governing the conduct of employees in public and private.
At the outset, the government order enumerates,
“Every Government employee is mandatorily required to maintain absolute integrity, honesty and allegiance to the Union of India and its Constitution and do nothing which is unbecoming of a Government servant.”
Following are the list of activities for which a government employee can be held liable,
• Involvement in any act of sabotage, espionage, treason, terrorism, subversion, sedition/ secession, facilitating foreign interference, incitement to violence or any other unconstitutional act
• Association or sympathy with persons who are attempting to commit any of the above acts or involved in aiding or abetting or advocating the above acts
• Involvement of an individual’s immediate family, persons sharing residential space with the employee to whom he or she may be bound by affection, influence, or obligation or involved in any of the acts, directly or indirectly, mentioned at item numbers ‘i’ &’ii’ above, having potential of subjecting the individual to duress, thereby posing a grave security risk
• Failure to report unauthorized association with a suspected or known collaborator or employee of a foreign intelligence service
• Reports indicating that representatives or nationals from a foreign country are acting to increase the vulnerability of the individual to possible future exploitation, coercion or pressure
• Failure to report contacts with citizens of other countries or financial interests in other countries which make an individual potentially vulnerable to coercion, exploitation, or pressure by a foreign Government.
A List of ‘adversely reported employees’ to be prepared by the government from time to time
The order further states that on the basis of the above parameters pursuant to a process of ‘discreet verification’, the government shall prepare a ‘list of adversely reported employees’ from time to time. Consequently, the concerned administrative departments will take cognisance of such a list of employees and immediately report it to the General Administration Department.
Such cases will then be forwarded to the UT Level Screening Committee constituted under the Jammu and Kashmir Civil Services (Verification of Character & Antecedents) Instructions, 1997 for its final decision.
Thereafter, in case such employees are due for promotion (Functional/ Non-functional), their cases shall be put on hold immediately, the order further stipulates.
“On confirmation of the adverse report by the UT Level Screening Committee, further action shall be taken against the adversely reported employee(s), which may include termination from Government services. The decision of the UT Level Screening Committee can be reviewed by the Review Committee, on reference to it by the UT Level Screening Committee or on the representation of any aggrieved employee(s)”, the order states