Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Iqbal Khanday who objected “officers’ transfers like shuttlecocks” puts in his papers as J&K chief secretary

Dal Lake of Kashmir Valley
IN AN unusual move, Jammu and Kashmir chief secretary and 1978 batch IAS Mohammad Iqbal Khanday sought voluntary retirement three months ahead of his retirement, reportedly over his differences with Mufti Muhammad Sayeed-led PDP government which has been shuffling officers without his consent. According to some TV reports, Khanday objected to IAS officers’ transfer like “shuttlecocks”. Khanday, by the way, knows Sanskrit, apart from…
English, Hindi, Kashmiri, Arabic and Persian language, and well qualifies to be called a polyglot. He was on deputation to the Central government only once, as deputy secretary and then director in DoPT between 1990 and 1992. He was due to retire on November 30, 2015.
Hailing from Jammu and Kashmir, Khanday was made the state’s chief secretary in February 2013 when National Conference-Congress alliance headed by the then chief minister Omar Abdullah ruled the state.
Though the problems for Khanday cropped up much earlier, the immediate trigger of the state’s top bureaucrat’s resignation was over a state cabinet meeting held on August 21. Khanday could not attend it because of death of a close relative and the government rejected his plea to postpone the meeting by one day. Like the cabinet secretary mandatorily attends cabinet meetings at the Centre, chief secretary has to attend the state cabinet meetings.
According to media reports, Khanday in his letter to the chief minister wrote that he has no moral right to continue as "the government doesn't trust him." BoI has not however seen the letter.
Khanday is an MA in English literature.
Khanday belongs to one of the most influential families of the state with many members of his family being IAS, IPS, judges, academics etc. His father-in-law Shamsuddin Ganai was the state’s Public Service Commission chairman. His wife Kaneez Fatima, a principal district and sessions judge, used to be a special judge, anti-corruption for CBI cases in the state.
Khanday’s two sisters-in-law are married to Basharat Ahmed Dhar, an IAS and Shafqat Watali, an IPS respectively. And his daughter’s in-laws are former MD JK Tourism Development Corporation Abdul Aziz Wani and retired commissioner secretary Roma Wani.
Brij Raj Sharma, a 1984 batch IAS of Jammu and Kashmir cadre IAS, is believed to be the front-runner for the post of the state chief secretary. Sharma is an MA in political science and has a degree in law as well.


  1. there is shortage of IAS officers in jammu & kashmir cadre. the chief minister has requested modi government to send back all j&k cadre officers squatting in delhi. now shortage has further increased with one more resignation. Will Modi sarkar blink and release officers on deputation to delhi. the property returns of some j&k cadre officers indicate that they have made good use of their long stay in delhi. perhaps this could be reason for disinterest of officers to go to cadre. delhi after all is much more comfortable.

  2. I read this somewhere that The proposal for premature repatriation of Arun Kumar Mehta, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change to parent cadre has been declined by the Government of India. He is a 1988 batch IAS officer of J&K cadre.
    I have been telling all Manmohan Sarkar and Modi Sarkar both same to same. they treat J&K like vassal.