Lok Satta

Wednesday, 21 October 2009 13:37

Dr. JP sees bid to fragment State Following SC verdict


Lok Satta Party President Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan today warned that attempts at changing the Presidential Order or misinterpreting the Supreme Court judgment on it would merely promote discord among people of different regions in the State.


"Bereft of any meaningful agenda other than naked quest for power, politicians of different hues are trying to fragment the State in the name of region and language or caste and religion."


Addressing the media on the 'free zone' controversy, Dr. JP clarified upfront that neither the Presidential Order nor the Supreme Court judgment carried the word 'free zone' anywhere. The loosely-coined word emanated from an administrative tribunal and it had no relevance.


The Presidential Order emanated directly from Article 371 D of the Constitution as amended by the 32nd amendment and is virtually an extension of the Constitution. It overrides all other statutes.


The Presidential Order Of November 1, 1975 sought to ensure fairness, equity, regional balance and opportunities for all in Government jobs. It specifically exempted the all posts in the Secretariat, offices of heads of department, special offices or establishments, State-level offices or institutions, other than non-gazetted posts in major development projects and all posts as defined in the Hyderabad Police Act from zonal criteria for recruitment.


The Supreme Court, Dr. JP pointed out, unequivocally upheld the Presidential Order in a case filed by some police personnel. It dismissed the contention of the State Government that the order would not apply to Hyderabad police since they had not been appointed under the Hyderabad City Police Act and since the Government of India had not notified the local cadres of the Hyderabad police.


The Supreme Court in its judgment pointed out that the local cadres had not been notified precisely because the Presidential Order exempted the Hyderabad police from zonal regulations. Again, the Presidential Order was not concerned about the way the police were recruited. It exempted the police as defined under the Hyderabad City Police Act.


If zonalization were to be extended to the Hyderabad police, Dr. JP explained, a person from say Adilabad cannot be a sub-inspector pf police or a or even a person from Ranga Reddy district cannot be a constable in Hyderabad city, , leave alone those from Coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema districts.


Dr. JP said he was amazed that some employees demanded reservation of jobs for local people in Hyderabad City police citing their backwardness as justification.


Hyderabad is the most progressive district in terms of both education and per capita income. Therefore, seeking reservation in terms of backwardness of Hyderabad would not hold water.


It was is true that parts of Telangana as also some areas in Coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema continued to be backward. Who was to blame if some regions had remained backward 53 years after the formation of an integrated State and 62 years after the country attained Independence? Were not employees who were supposed to provide quality education and health care to people partly responsible?


Dr. JP said the Lok Satta Party abided by the Presidential Order and its interpretation by the Supreme Court. Any attempt to get the order revised would undermine State's unity and promote discord among different regions.


He also made it clear that the Andhra Pradesh Government's bid to get the Supreme Court review its verdict would not succeed because a revision could be considered only if there were any gross factual errors in it. Such was not the case now.