Article 311 and sacking of employees in Kashmir Saqib Mugloo

On July 11, authorities in Kashmir sacked eleven government employees including a female teacher invoking Article 311 of the Constitution of India.

The Article deals with the dismissal, removal, or reduction in rank of a government employee. This provision is generally construed to be a safeguard in the interest of employees; however in Kashmir it has found a different use.

Clause 2 of this Article mandates that no em-ployee shall be dismissed, removed, or reduced in rank prior to a proper enquiry against the charges made against him.

This also obligates the authority in charge of the removal to give a reasonable oppor-tunity of being heard to the accused, and inform them of the grounds of their dismissal.

However, a proviso is added to these clauses, which specifies three situations where such funda-mental procedures can be bypassed.

The third situa-tion, which is being invoked to dismiss employees in Kashmir, is enshrined in sub-clause (c) in the proviso which reads: “Where the President or the Governor, as the case may be, is satisfied that in the interest of the security of the State, it is not expedi-ent to hold such inquiry”.

Authorities in Kashmir are now invoking sub-clause (c) of the article to dismiss or sack employ-ees, giving reason of ‘in the interest of the security of the state’.

A female teacher, Razia Akhtar, was among the eleven employees who were recently sacked by the J-K’s Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha without publicly revealing the allegations leveled against them.

According to media reports, Akhtar, a resident of south Kashmir’s Anantnag district, was working in J-K’s Education Department as a teacher before her dismissal.