Thursday, July 31, 2014


Relook unravels complications of overlooked rules and vexed issues of Subjecthood status
GANGTOK, 30 July: While the state government has refused to explain the reason behind the order to put in abeyance the regularization process of its temporary employees, it now emerges that there are some fundamental issues concerning the regularization of this set of employees. These issues range from appointment of MR and WC employees when they were underage, to non-possession of domicile papers and also the rather ironic fate of women employees who have lost their domicile status because of their marriages [to ‘outsiders’].
This has led to the government to direct a re-scrutiny of all relevant documents of the employees before they are regularized and disbursed their salaries. In order to resolve the issue, the Department of Personnel, under directives from the Chief Secretary, has deployed four officials to the Power Department to undertake a re-scrutiny of the documents of those MR and WC employees who had been regularized earlier.
However, as it emerges and as some of those employees under scrutiny inform, even these officials are not sure about which documents to examine or which provisions of the Service Rules to use as a guide to authenticate the documents and so keep shifting the goalpost much to the ire of the employees.
There are several issues under examination, not the least of all is the application of Rule 4(4) of the Service Rules.
First, there was a complaint that several of those employees who had been regularized had actually not completed the required number of years of service (15 years for phase-1) in order to be regularized.
Now, this has raised another bone of contention with the employees as the DoP officials engaged in the scrutiny process have now found that several of the MR and WC employees started their service when they were still officially underage.
In fact it is explained that these employees were put in service by the government itself decades ago. Now to raise the question of their having been underage at the time of appointment to service just seems to be harassment, feel the employees.
The second matter of scrutiny is the possession of domicile papers by the MR and WC employees. As per the Service Rules only those with Sikkim Subjects or Certificates of Identification can be regularized. This point seems to have been overlooked during the initial scrutiny before the general elections.
It is suspected that some of the regularized employees may not have the necessary domicile documents and so cannot enjoy the benefits of regularized service. On this matter the employees seem to have no problem and accept that the need for domicile papers and also the application of Rule 4(4) of the Service Rules is necessary and as per Rules. By Rule 4(4) of the Service Rules an outsider employed in state government service in Sikkim has to relinquish his post when a qualified local is available.
However one area where the government may have to again put its collective head together is on the issue of women employees who, by virtue of their marriage to outsiders, have had their domicile papers cancelled. Consequently, they cannot be regularized under the present Rules.
Government officials agree that this is an area which might need the consideration of the government. Women who were unmarried at their time of their appointment but since have married people from outside Sikkim have had their Sikkim Subjects or Certificates of Identification cancelled. While the MR and WC employees feel nothing can be done about this as it is the Rule, they do concede that the government should consider such cases on humanitarian grounds. The government is yet to take a call on this.
The regularized MR and WC employees have not been paid their due salaries for almost 5 months running since the government issued the “in abeyance” order in regards to their regularization.

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