J&K Court Discards Special Employment Benefits For Kashmiri Pandits

Jammu and Kashmir’s high court has nullified the government order to give special employment benefits to Kashmir’s Pandit. These benefits were part of Prime Minister’s scheme for those pandit youths who stayed in Kashmir after November 1989 despite militant attacks in the region.

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The Jammu and Kashmir high court ordered that all posts created in order to implement the Prime Minister’s package for the return and rehabilitation of migrant Kashmiri Pandits are required to be filled up as per the rules of 2009 exclusively.

The PDP-BJP coalition government had announced a special ordinance SR0-425 to amend the 2009’s migrant recruitment rules to accomplish a special recruitment drive for the unemployed Kashmiri Pandit youth who did not leave the Valley. Eventually, the government had also constituted a committee for giving benefits of employment to the Kashmiri Pandits on the basis of SR0-425.

On the other side, the Sikh community strongly believed that they also deserved the benefits of this amendment. As a result, both the SRO and the order to form committee were challenged by unemployed Sikh youth from Kashmir by filing a petition before the High Court in December 2016.

A single-judge Bench of Justice Sanjeev Kumar in its judgment said: “I do not find the impugned government order of November 2017 sustainable in law, for the same has the effect of modifying the statutory rules, which is impermissible. All posts created in pursuance to the Prime Minister’s package for the return and rehabilitation are required to be filled as per the rules of 2009 and in no other manner.”

The bench concluded by saying, “I find no merit in the petition so far as the challenge to the vires of SRO-425 dated October 10, 2017, is concerned and the same is accordingly rejected. However, the impugned government order of November 2017 is held unsustainable in law and is accordingly quashed. The respondents may proceed in the matter in accordance with law.”

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