Rashid Paul

HC refrains Govt from acting upon NFS for KAS members

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Srinagar: The state High Court today directed the government to refrain from acting upon a notification regarding Non-Functional (Monetary) Scheme (NFS) in respect of the members of the Jammu and Kashmir Administrative Service.

Hearing a petition by one Itrat Hussain Rafiqi and others, appointed to the Kashmir Administrative Service in 2005 and 2008 respectively and allegedly deprived of the benefits of senior scale under the scheme, a bench of Justice M K Hanjura directed the government to stop acting up on the scheme.

“The scheme appears to be discriminatory in nature and thereto is hit by Article 14 of the Constitution of India,” the bench said.

“It appears that by giving effect to the scheme from 01.01.2018, the petitioners have been subjected to invidious discrimination and excluded from the benefit of the scheme notwithstanding the fact that they are similarly circumstanced with other officers to whom the benefit has been accorded,” the court observed.

The court directed that subject to objections and till next date of listing the impugned NFS notified vide SRO 198 o 2008 dated 25-4-2008, shall not be acted upon.

The court asked the government to file objections to the petition, challenging the notification issued under SRO-198 within four weeks.

The petitioners claimed that the final seniority list of officers of the J&K Administrative Service was notified on 24 June 2011 and the order became the subject matter of the petitions which are sub-judice in court.

On account of the pendency of these petitions and the orders passed by the court, the officers could not be placed in the seniority scale on account of the “discriminatory” policy decision by notifying the NFS.

By notifying the effective date of application of the scheme from 1st of the January this year, the petitioners said, the government has lost sight of the fact that the petitioners have suffered on account of the dispute with regard to their seniority.

“Although we have the eligibility as prescribed in the Rules of 2008, we have not been placed in the Selection Grade”, they said.

They stated that the beneficiaries of the scheme and the petitioners under law constitute a single class as all the Kashmir Administrative Service Officers have faced stagnation due to the pending seniority dispute.

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