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IAS Officer Ashok Parmar’s entire service career remained mired in controversies

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JAMMU: The career of Ashok Kumar Parmar (IAS- 1992 batch) has remained mired in controversies from his first posting as Sub-Divisional Magistrate, Mendhar till date, with multiple complaints being lodged for his inefficiency and poor performance from time to time.
Sources in the administration revealed that B. R. Kundal, the then Divisional Commissioner, Jammu, vide his communication dated June 28, 1996, mentioned an incident when Ashok Parmar registered a case in the Police Station on a petty issue of installation of a Solar Light in Sub Judicial Magistrate’s Office whereas he wanted it to be installed in SDM Office which created tension and boycott of the Court of the SDM by the Advocates for months together.
The then Divisional Commissioner Jammu recalled an incident when the Deputy Commissioner Poonch was not available at the District Headquarter as he had come to Jammu for official purpose, Parmar assumed the role of District Magistrate and started flashing wireless messages about desertion of the District Magistrate from the district headquarter, which was widely resented.
The Divisional Commissioner also revealed about the complaints made by the public against Parmar before the then Governor during his visit to Poonch and how he assured the visiting Governor of disciplining the SDM. However, his attempts to reason out with the SDM did not succeed forcing him to conclude that before further damage is done to his reputation or more public unrest is created, he should be immediately transferred.
During his next tenure as Additional Secretary to the Government, Food Supplies and Transport Department in 1997, an explanation had been sought from Parmar for leaving the State for his home town in Gujarat without obtaining permission from the competent authority.
For the reasons of indiscipline and subordination, Parmar was not posted as Deputy Commissioner in any of the district during his first ten years of service. However, when posted as Deputy Commissioner, Kargil in 2002, he was again transferred prematurely from that place within seven months.
As Deputy Commissioner, Udhampur, during 2006, his tenure was again marred with controversies including complaints in selection of Supervisor (contractual) in the Social Welfare Department, misuse of helicopters/choppers at the State expenses from para-military forces on number of occasions without any cogent reasons etc. The then MLA and Former Minister Harsh Dev Singh had requested for holding inquiry against him and his immediate transfer from that place.
After his stint as Deputy Commissioner, Udhampur, his tenure as Vice Chairman, Jammu Development Authority (JDA) was again full of controversies like entering into scuffles with his juniors and subordinates including Director, Land Management. The working of the Jammu Development Authority suffered to such an extent that the then Minister for Housing and Urban Development/Chairman, Jammu Development Authority was forced to write a UO Note to the Chief Secretary bringing out the poor performance of Parmar as Vice Chairman. The Minister had mentioned that the officer’s handling of the JDA had resulted in frequent hartals and strikes by the employees of the JDA forcing the government to intervene on number of occasions. He had also observed that the officer had been issuing orders without seeking approval of the authority competent to do so. He had requested the Chief Secretary for the transfer of Parmar from JDA and further conveyed that the displeasure be recorded in the personal records of Parmar.
There were numerous complaints by his subordinates and JAKEDA Non Gazetted Employees Union during his tenure as Administrative Secretary, Science and Technology Department in 2007 for using foul language and behavioural problem.
During the year 2015 as Commissioner/Secretary, Animal and Sheep Husbandry Department, Parmar again underperformed and was awarded score of 7.0 by the then Chief Secretary of the erstwhile State.
During his tenure as Joint Secretary (Films) in the Government of India (2020), he was again graded “Average” with a score of 6.29. The Reporting Authority also made a mention of his average delivery despite the efforts of the Reporting Officer to encourage him to take forward various matters relating to film sector. It is worthwhile to note that he was not empanelled as Additional Secretary in the Government of India due to his poor performance.
After spending a long tenure in the Government of India and coming out of ill health, the officer reported back in the Union territory in March, 2022. Keeping in view his health conditions, he was initially given a light assignment of Principal Secretary, Irrigation and Flood Control and later on the entire charge of the Jal Shakti Department was also handed over to him keeping in view his seniority. But his performance even during the first three months was dismal. The number of works allotted and the number of works started were around 15 percent and 5 percent respectively, which reached 96 percent and 83 percent respectively within one year of his exit from the department which clearly shows his lackadaisical approach as Principal Secretary, Jal Shakti Department. The number of works completed, which were nearly around 100, doubled during next one year after his exit. While he failed to complete any scheme, the number of schemes completed reached 172 after one year of his exit showing clearly that there were significant improvements in Jal Jeevan Mission activities.
Jammu and Kashmir has ushered in one of the most transparent system of contracting in which no work can be undertaken without Administrative Approval, Technical Sanction, e-tendering etc. Besides, payment of works can be made only in online mode that too after 100 percent physical verification of works obviating the possibility of any financial irregularity. As such, the allegations of the officers regarding financial irregularities in the JJM are absurd.
There were also multiple complaints against him regarding premature transfers and records obtained indicate that the officer has resorted to 398 number of transfer affected without authorization during the period when the transfer window was closed. For the above reasons, he was then transferred to the ARl and Trainings Department. The transfer of Ashok Parmar has been due to casual approach and inefficiency and has nothing to do with caste, creed, religion etc.
In ARl and Trainings Department, he started unnecessary communications unbecoming of a government servant such as tweeting/re-tweeting many statements against the government policies. He was shifted to the Skill Development Department and then to Bureau of Public Enterprises. However, his behaviour pattern has continued to remain erratic. It is pertinent to mention that on one occasion recently, he publicly shared his inquiry report against one IFS officer before submitting to the Government, which is against the accepted norms of the conduct of inquiry.
His further request for transfer outside J&K was forwarded to the Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India, for consideration.
The postings in J&K are made without any reference to caste/religion and J&K has pretty good mixture of officers from different backgrounds at all levels in a secular working environment. Invoking of caste credentials to defend his inefficiency by the officer is actually unfortunate.

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