CM takes GAD route for transfers to avoid ‘interference’
SRINAGAR, Feb 15: In the last two years, the General Administration Department has issued over 200 transfer orders concerning bureaucrats in the state. The GAD, headed by the Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, has issued transfer orders without holding the cabinet meetings to avoid “interference” from any political quarters. An official of the GAD said that over 200 transfer orders have been issued since Mehbooba Mufti took over as Chief Minister of the state in April 2016. “Transfers were made without the cabinet to ensure there is no unwarranted interference by the BJP ministers,” the official said. He said that BJP ministers had made “unnecessary interference” several times in the past in the reshuffle of state administration and police department, seeking officers in their respective departments and constituencies of their own choice. Sources said the Chief Minister was not happy with BJP ministers’ interference. On December 9, 2016, Mehbooba left the cabinet meeting midway when BJP ministers opposed posting of KPS officers as DIGs or above. “Only a few times in the last 22 months, the decision about reshuffle in the state bureaucracy has been taken in the state cabinet meetings,” the official said. Top IAS and IPS officers were also transferred in the last one year without the cabinet meetings. “There are administrative sectaries and IG rank police officers who have been transferred without the cabinet meeting,” the official said. In these orders, the government said that transfers were made “in the interest” of state administration. There is also violation of the transfer policy in the state. Quoting the figures, the official said that 45 IAS and 20 IPS officers were prematurely transferred during 2016 and 2017. A few officials have been transferred three to four times in the last two years. Premature transfer of officials is in violation of the Transfer Policy. As per the Transfer Policy minimum tenure of a government employee on a post should be two years and a maximum of three years. The policy says that premature transfers shall be made only under unavoidable circumstances. However, the government had tried to justify frequent transfers several times by calling them “unavoidable” and in the “interest of the administration”. “These transfers are ordered with prior approval of the competent authority. This is provided under the Transfer Policy,” the government had said.