Administrative Apathy

While there are set rules for promotion of KAS officers in J&K, the ambiguity over the elevation of KPS officers has marred the career of around 300 DSP-rank officers of J&K police whose fight for better pay grades has no takers in the state’s home department, Shams Irfan reports.

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The standoff between Jammu and Kashmir’s home department and J&K Police over the promotion of deputy superintendent of police (DSP) rank officers to superintendent of police (SP) seems far from over. Despite a number of vacancies, the officers are waiting for nod of home department to bridge the gap.

The recent promotions in J&K police took place in 2005 when all the 74 DSPs of 1999 KPS batch were promoted as SPs. Now, around 300 DSP rank Kashmir Police Service (KPS) officers of 2001, 2004, 2008, 2009 and 2011 batch are fighting a silent battle for their promotion over the last many years.

The Jammu and Kashmir Police headquarters (PHQ) submitted a proposal for the promotions of 94 DSPs to fill the vacant SP rank posts in the state but it was turned down by the home department. Sources privy to the development told Kashmir Life that there was no response from the department despite many efforts by top police officers.

“The home department follow their own roaster system for promotions. PHQ has been completely sidelined,” a senior police officer who wished not to be named told Kashmir Life.

Interestingly, after eight years of service, a KPS officer of DSP rank is equal to Additional Secretary (KAS) but they fall in different pay bands. The existing pay structure for KPS services ends at pay band 3 level. KPS officers are not eligible for Special Scale and Super Time Scale (both pay band 4 scales) enjoyed by their equals in KAS, unless they are not inducted in Indian Police Services (IPS).

Having been selected through same competitive examination, KAS officers have set rules for a time-bound promotion and their cadres are well defined while there is no such clarity for KPS officers.

“KPS officers get only one promotion from DSP to SP rank in their entire career unless they are not inducted into IPS,” said a serving DSP. However, according to sources, induction of KPS officers in IPS cadre has been stopped as home department is yet to finalize the list.

Unlike KAS, which follows Jammu & Kashmir Administrative Service Rules 2008 laid down by the state government through SRO 386 (Dated Dec 1. 2008) which addresses all concerns regarding its strength of cadre, constitution of service, pay scales, recruitment, promotion, etc., the same rule (SRO 386) is not applicable to IPS. Instead, they are governed by the Jammu & Kashmir Recruitment Rules 2002 (SRO 132).

“There is no time-bound promotion in KPS. We are made to wait for years without any proper reason,” said a serving DSP, who is waiting for his first promotion over the last eight years. On the other hand, a KAS officer with eight years of service gets promoted to the post of additional secretary.

“My batch-mates who joined KAS are enjoying pay band 4 benefits while I am still in pay band 3,” said another DSP, who is serving at his present rank over last 12 years. “KAS officers press for their demands collectively through a union. But being a disciplined force, we can’t even do that,” he added.

According to sources, the intake of hundreds of officers in KPS in the recent batches has made their induction into IPS near to impossible. In states like West Bengal, Karnataka and Punjab, there is no difference in the scales of pay among members of police and administrative services. “In Punjab, police and administrative service officers enjoy same perks and fall in the same pay grade,” said a police officer.

The stagnation in pay scales under present rules has badly affected the morale of the police officers. “There is a shortage of SP posts in the state which has badly affected the functioning of the department. We have DSPs who are over-due for promotion. But the home department is unresponsive,” said a senior police officer.

Despite repeated attempts, concerned officials at the home department refused to comment on the impending promotions. There are concerns among police officials that the disparity in pay scale and endless wait for promotions may hamper the smooth functioning of the force.

It is reliably learnt that the Home department is delaying promotions on the grounds that a writ petition filed by the 1982 batch sub-inspectors is coming in the way of promotion of the 46 officers of batch 2001 of KPS. “The writ is already vacated. These are just excuses! The home department is simply neglecting Kashmiri officers so that we get cornered in our own state,” said a DSP.

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