Upset public wants Administration to revoke order
Jammu Tawi | Aug 31: After a government order regarding the suspension of tehsildar Ravi Shankar made the rounds on social media, netizens on Monday criticised the J&K administration for the decision, terming it humiliation to an honest and dedicated officer.
The junior Jammu and Kashmir Administrative Service (JKAS) officer was suspended with immediate effect on Sunday for “dereliction of his duties involving disobedience and very poor performance” in the issuance of domicile certificates to applicants here, an official order said.
“Ravi Shankar, posted as tehsildar Jammu (Khas), has been attached in the office of the divisional commissioner, the order issued by principal secretary (revenue) Pawan Kotwal read.
Kotwal has marked the inquiry to Jammu district commissioner Sushma Chauhan, to be completed and submitted to the government within 15 days.
Ramgarh tehsildar Kamalpreet Singh has been transferred and posted as tehsildar Jammu (Khas).
However, Shankar’s suspension has invited sharp criticism from netizens.
“He is an honest and hardworking officer, his suspension must be the outcome of some conspiracy. We demand revocation of his suspension order with immediate effect,” wrote advocate Praveen Choudhary on Facebook.
“Shame on the administration for this is the reward of honesty and hard work. I stand with Jammu tehsildar Ravi Shankar. Revoke this order,” posted Dr Gemini Sharma, another Facebook user.
Netizen Dr Surjeet Singh Shan wrote, “Indeed a dedicated, hardworking and honest officer,” posted.
“This is sheer nonsense on the part of administration…..The reward of hard work and dedication is humiliation and transfers,” posted Divya Sharma, while another user Rajinder Singh Manhas said, “We condemn this draconian order…I wonder if he was just made a scapegoat…Administration should rethink this.”
When contacted, revenue secretary Kotwal cited pendency of 73,000 domicile certificate applications with the civil servant.
“Pendency of domicile certificates here was far more than in other tehsils. I am not raising any query on the integrity of the official and he will be given full opportunity to explain his position, but his performance was being watched for the past six to seven months,” said Kotwal.
“The Lt governor had taken a strong exception to the massive pendency of applications in Jammu Khas tehsil during a review meeting and sought reasons from the district commissioner. All that the official had to do was to see the documents and issue domicile certificates,” added Kotwal.
“If he answers satisfactorily, he will be restored,” said the principal secretary, adding that he was not prejudiced against any officer.
It may be stated here that Ravi Shankar had been performing other duties of reportage and rescue during the recent floods, supervising Covid-targeted testing and routine tehsildar work before sitting in office till late hours every night to issue domicile certificates.
“On average, he was issuing around 400 to 450 domicile certificates every day and in the past 45 days, he cleared around 14,000 certificates. Jammu Khas is the most populated tehsils of the district and number of applicants here are far more than other tehsils,” said official sources.
They added, “The online method to apply for domicile certificates is quite cumbersome and poor net connectivity compounds to the problems of applicants. Take any tehsil, and one would find that only a handful of certificates have been issued online.”
A tehsildar, who has a lot of duties to perform, should have been spared from issuing domicile certificates, especially in populated cities, they said.