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PDD warns employees against demonstrations, strike in light of SC ruling, employees conduct rules

JAMMU, MARCH 26: The Jammu and Kashmir Power Development Department has warned departmental employees against demonstrations or strikes, citing the government instructions, J&K Government Employees (Conduct) Rules and ruling of the Supreme Court.

In an instruction circular issued here today, (circular no. 03-JK PDD of 2024 dated: 26-03-2024), the department said ‘it has come to notice that some employees are resorting to demonstrations and strikes in favour of certain assumed demands, which is totally illegal’.

Citing the government instructions, J&K Government Employees (Conduct) Rules and ruling of the Supreme Court for dealing with such issues, the circular said that the Rule 20 (ii) of the Jammu and Kashmir Government Employees (Conduct) Rules, 1971 clearly underlines that; no government employee shall resort to, or in any way abet any form of strike in connection with any matter pertaining to his service or the service of any other government employee”.

Elaborating further, it said that Vide SRO-160 dated 14-7-1995, the Jammu and Kashmir Civil Services (Recognition of Service Association) Rules, 1995 issued by the General Administration Department prohibit Gazetted officers from making associations.

These rules further provide that recognition of the Service Associations already registered can also be withdrawn if the government is satisfied that such association is violating the service conduct rules, or is not fulfilling the conditions laid down in the rules.

The Circular also mentioned General Administration Department’s communication of 2023, warning the government employees to desist from uncalled demonstrations and strikes, which constitute an act of serious indiscipline and misconduct.

Quoting a ruling by the Supreme Court in case Appeal (Civil) No.5556/2003 titled T.K. Rangarajan vs Government of Tamil Nadu (SC 2003) the circular instructions read that the employees have no fundamental, statutory or moral right to resort to strike as there is no law regarding it, and also, according to various service and conduct rules, they are prohibited to go on a strike.

“A strike is a powerful weapon; it affects the society as a whole, and the government employees cannot go on a strike affecting society… Government employees cannot claim that they can take the society at ransom by going on strike. Even if there is injustice to some extent, as presumed by such employees, in a democratic welfare State, they have to resort to the machinery provided under different statutory provisions for redressal of their grievances. Strike as a weapon is mostly misused which results in chaos and total maladministration”, it said.

The circular has warned that employees who intend to go on strike or demonstrations, or those found organising such demonstrations shall be dealt with strictly as per law.