JAMMU: Even as anti-corruption campaigns like “Brashtachaar Mukht” and “Vigilance Awareness Week” are echoing with much hype in Jammu and Kashmir Union Territory, the government has silently trashed “LG’s award for honesty, integrity and meritorious public service” awarded on the eve of Independence Day.
This unprecedented move came amidst the registration of case by Crime Branch, Jammu against an awardee of “LG’s Honesty Award” namely Dr Shahsi Sudan Sharma and subsequent raids at her office and residence pertaining to a long pending complaint of forgery in birth documents.
Earlier, the selection of officers for annual awards on Republic Day also came under sharp criticism in the year 2022 when one varsity officer was awarded for outstanding achievers in the category of meritorious public service despite the fact that the university where the said officer is on deputation since its formation has miserably failed to justify the purpose for which it was established and virtually become a kitchen postings hub for influential teachers and officials.
As a matter of fact the younger brother of this university officer is holding an important post in the office of Chief Secretary, J&K for the last several years.
Another awardee of LG’s award for honesty 2020 was under scanner when recently a team of CBI raided his directorate and arrested one officer with Rs 10 lakhs amount which was allegedly collected as bribe on the name of his superior officer.
Though Commissioner-Secretary, GAD was not available for clarification on this unprecedented development, a senior officer confiding anonymity said “The LG’s award for Honesty was “deferred” owing to its repetition in the category of awards awarded every year on the Republic Day”.
On the occassion of Republic Day under “J&K Government Awards”, the government grants awards to officers for outstanding performance in fields viz Literature, Art & Crafts, Social Reforms and Empowerment, Lifetime Achievement in any other field, Outstanding Sports Persons, Outstanding Media Persons and Outstanding Industrial Entrepreneurship and meritorious public services.
Reliable sources in GAD told JKGN “The decision to skip honouring officers/officials with LG’ award on 15 August, 2023 taken at the top level owing to adverse CID inputs about several officers recommended by the departments.
Vide notification No GAD-ADM0III/62/2023-09-GAD, dated 15/06/2023, the Commissioner-Secretary General Administration Department has invited nominations by July 10, 2023 for annual “Lieutenant Governor’s Award for Honesty, Integrity and Meritorious Public Service- 2023”, to be conferred on Independence Day.
Instituted in the year July 2006 as “CM awards for Honesty, Integrity and excellence in public services”, it was rechristened as “LG award for honesty, integrity and meritorious public service” in July 2020.
Since its rechristened in 2020 as “LG’s award for honesty and integrity, the government has awarded 11 officers in 2020 and 9 officers in 2021.
Thereafter government choose to skip this award consecutively for the year 2022 as well as 2023 which announced annually on the eve of Independence Day and carries a 20 gm 22 karat gold medal, cash prize of Rs 50,000, a citation and a certificate.
“The procedure for conferment of “LG’s Award” includes nomination of employees with prescribed details by the administrative secretaries within stipulated time.
On receiving nominations, the government send the list of officers to CID wing of Jammu and Kashmir Police for necessary inputs.