DC Nullifies ALC Certificates Of JKAS Officers, Siblings

SRINAGAR: While delivering a rare and historical adjudication, the Deputy Commissioner Poonch quashed ALC certificates of two JKAS officers, who had managed selection in the Combined Administrative Services through Public Service Commission in the Jammu and Kashmir during 2017.

During 2017, both officers were appointed based on the ALC category issued by the Tehsildar Mendhar at the time. The selection list was released on December 18, 2017.

Sumit Kumar Sharma and his sister Sunaina Sharma, who are siblings and residents of Ari in Mendhar, belong to the Poonch district’s Mendhar Sub Division. District Magistrate Inder Jeet, while issuing an order in his court, cancelled the ALC (Resident of Actual Line of Control) certificates of both individuals. The reason for the cancellation was that the certificates were issued against the mandate of Jammu Kashmir Reservation Act 2004.

According to the detailed order, there were blatant irregularities in the issuance of the certificates, with the issuing authority and other officials acting in a casual and careless manner.

Inder Jeet instructed the SDM Mendhar to conduct an investigation into the entire issue within a specified timeframe. The appellants’ counsels, Mobeen Khan and Alyas Khawaja, stated that the judgment was detailed, reasoned, and historical. The court delved deeply into the matter by annulling the ALC certificates of all siblings, except for Jyoti Sharma, daughter of Harbans Lal Sharma, who is a resident of Ari and currently resides in Gohlad in Mendhar.

On May 29, 2018, Anjum Imtiaz, daughter of Imtiaz Ahmed Khan and a JKAS aspirant from Harni in Mendhar challenged the ALC certificates of Sumit Kumar Sharma, Sunaina Sharma, Jyoti Sharma, Amit Kumar Sharma, Ram Murti Sharma, and Harbans Lal. These certificates were issued by the Tehsildar Mendhar and were deemed illegal, arbitrary, against the facts and law, and void ab-initio, according to her appeal in the court of District Magistrate Poonch. She also contested that the respondents’ income exceeded the ceiling prescribed by SRO-294, which is Rs 3 lakh from all sources except agriculture, during 2011.

To claim benefits under the Backward Area Certificate or ALC, a person must demonstrate that they have resided in the area for at least 15 years prior to the application date. However, in this case, the individuals in question did not meet this requirement. They had relocated to Jammu for an extended period, and Harbans Lal, a government employee, was unable to deceive the authorities about his income. The District Magistrate’s court also reviewed the local school certificates of these individuals.

“After going through the facts, it has been observed that appeal succeeds on merit and the impugned ALC category certificate issued by Tehsildar Mendhar on 14-7-2011 in favour of respondents (Except respondent No 3 Jyoti Sharma), are cancelled ab-initio. However, in view of the condition imposed by the High Court of J&K in its order dated 22-10-2019 passed in WP (C) No. 3897/2019, in case titled Sumit Kumar Sharma Vs State of J&K and others, the decision of this court shall remain subject to the final outcome of writ petition pending before the High Court,” the DM’s order said.

SDM Mendhar was directed to conduct in-depth inquiry into the acts of omission and commission on the part of concerned officials while processing and issuing the said certificates, by fixing responsibility, within two weeks. It is pertinent to mention here that it is just a tip of an iceberg, even in issuance of RBA certificates huge irregularities have been committed to obtain such benefit in Poonch, Rajouri, Doda, Udhampur, Kishtwar besides other parts of Kashmir valley. Many heads may roll if such an inquiry is ordered by concerned authorities in various districts.


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