(Mr. Bashir A. Bashir, 62, was born in Srinagar. He passed his higher secondary schooling from Baghidilawar Khan, and graduated from the Gandhi Memorial College Srinagar. Mr. Bashir completed his Law Graduation from the Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) in Urdu. and received his M.A in Political Science from the University of Kashmir. He joined the Bar in 1973 and was appointed as Additional Advocate General of the J&K in 1984 till 1986. He is a practicing advocate of J&K High Court and has been recently designated as the Senior Advocate by the Hon'ble High Court of J&K.)
When Pruning is a Must
All organs of the state are infected with all kinds of corrupt elements. Corruption is eating into the vitals of the society. Moral values have taken a severe battering. The valley, once known as abode of saints and rishis, is losing that glory now.
More we hear the cries against this dangerous disease of corruption, more it is taking roots as if the phenomenon is getting social recognition. Consequently there is no result orientated action by way of punishment against corrupt people. I have no hesitation in saying that the judicial system of India has also failed to deliver in this regard the way it should have delivered because of undue delays in dispensation of justice for whatever reasons. The net result is the society by and large continues to suffer particularly those who do not belong to the affluent class of the society.
Law of nature dictates certain vital rules for betterment and protection which should be followed as and when needed. For instance pruning of the trees is very important for there healthy growth or amputation of a diseased organ in a human body is must to save the remaining body from infection which may lead to death otherwise. Likewise weeding out the corrupt is very vital for the proper and healthy survival of the society at large but how this goal can be achieved is the basic question. Honble Supreme Court while deliberating in different cases of compulsory retirement has coined a word called as "DEAD WOOD"to get rid of corrupt and undesirable elements in the services before they reach the actual age of superannuation and the competent authority has been held entitled to do so on subjective satisfaction after taking the service record of the official concerned into consideration in an objective manner. Though this is not the hundred percent guaranteed method of eradicating corruption but nevertheless it sends the signal to the corrupt elements that they can face the brunt without any excuse to avoid it if the competent authority wants to do it. Again this step can be taken only when the official concerned has either reached age of 48 years or has service of 22 years at his back as per our State laws. It means in case of less than that age or service he can not be compulsorily retired even if he is a known corrupt person or dead wood to be called by that name which includes within its meaning inefficient also. Best course would have been to amend the law and keep this option available to competent authority from five years of service only to be exercised at any time so that officials would always feel they can be shown the door if found undesirable.
Recently Hon'ble High Court in its best wisdom has taken the decision of compulsorily retiring three senior judicial officers of District & Sessions Judges rank which news item appeared in GK. I can't comment upon the merits on which this decision was taken nor do I comment in any way upon their individual conduct or performance. But the point I wish to bring home by this instance is that why should not the executive take the lead or lesson from this decision taken by the Honble high court to initiate and weed out corrupt officials (unless they have the constraint of having non honest available) and check the situation from slipping from bad to worst. Details of rampant corruption pouring out daily from the Seat of governance are shocking. The conscience of common man seems to have been deeply hurt because corruption is bound to infect every organ of the society. That is why every day scandals after scandal be it spurious drugs supply, fake appointments, fraudulent withdrawal of bills, etc is surfacing leaving a lasting impression that nothing is going to happen to improve the situation.
I would Sincerely wish the authorities that be to start process of pruning. That alone can save us from further mess.