High Court (India)

March 06, 2019

PM’s Employment Package (2009) for Kashmiri Pandits living in the Valley upheld by J&K HC


The appeal challenging special dispensation in the matter of employment given in favour of Kashmiri Pandits living in the Kashmir Valley was turned down by the Jammu and Kashmir High Court.

Two unemployed Kashmiri Sikh youth and the Kashmiri Sikh Community had approached the High court for being treated on par with Kashmiri Pandits staying in the Valley in terms of employment in the wake of the PM’s Package for Return and Rehabilitation.

By treating Kashmiri Sikhs differently from the Kashmiri Pandits in the Valley, the equality clause was being violated, the petitioners contended.

Kashmiri Pandits living in the Valley had been given special dispensation by amending the J&K Migrants (Special Drive) Recruitment Rules 2009, they said.

Under the scheme, "The Government of India as also the Governments of various States came up with different measures of rehabilitation and provided relief and succour to these families by all possible means. Despite all efforts made by the Government of India at its level, there was no discernible improvement in the living standard of this migrant community. This led the Government of India to come up with a comprehensive package and policy of relief and rehabilitation in the year 2008. This package/policy was first announced by the then Prime Minister during his visit to the State on April 25-26, 2008. The package was meant to ameliorate the lot of the Kashmiri Pandit Community, who had been forced to migrate from the Kashmir Valley and facilitate their return and rehabilitation. Apart from other incentives contained in the package formally announced in June 2008, it was also decided to provide jobs to the educated among migrant youth in the State Government services and financial assistance (grant of loans to unemployed to help them engage in self-employment through vocational training). Accordingly, 3000 supernumerary posts were created in various Departments for providing employment to migrant youth who were willing to return and serve in Kashmir Valley. With a view to filling up these posts and providing employment exclusively to the unemployed youth from amongst the migrants, the Government came up with the Rules of 2009, which were notified by the Government vide SRO 412 dated 30th December 2009".

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