Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer Shah Faesal who had resigned from the service in 2018 to protest the “unabated” killings in Kashmir and was recently appointed Deputy Secretary in the Ministry of Culture after his reinstatement, is learnt to have approached the Supreme Court seeking deletion of his name from a pending petition challenging the abrogation of Article 370 of the Constitution which accorded special status to Jammu and Kashmir.
A source aware of the development said Faesal “has moved an application to get his name deleted from the petition, but the same is yet to come up for hearing”. There are six other co-petitioners in the plea.
It is not known what reasons he has outlined in the plea seeking deletion of his name.
Faesal is among over 20 petitioners who had approached the SC challenging the centre’s August 2019 decision to make changes to Article 370 that gave special status to Jammu and Kashmir and reconstitute it into two union territories — Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh.
On March 2, 2020, a five-judge bench of the Supreme Court rejected the prayer by Faesal and others to refer these petitions to a larger bench. The court, however, made it clear that its order “is confined to the limited preliminary issue of whether the matter should be referred to a larger bench” and “have not considered any issue on the merits of the dispute”.
The petitions are yet to come up for hearing after that.
After submitting his resignation, Faesal who was the first Kashmiri to top the Civil Services Examination (2010 batch), took the plunge into politics, floating his own party, Jammu and Kashmir People’s Movement (JKPM). But in August 2020, he quit as president of the JKPM and announced that he was quitting politics altogether.
Faesal’s resignation, in January 2019, had not been accepted by the government pending investigation into some of his posts on social media.
In April this year, in a series of tweets, Faesal had hinted at his reinstatement as he spoke about “another chance” and being “excited to start all over again”.
“Eight months of my life (Jan 2019 to Aug 2019) created so much baggage that I was almost finished. While chasing a chimera, I lost almost everything that I had built over the years. Job. Friends. Reputation. Public goodwill. But I never lost hope. My idealism had let me down,” he had said in a Twitter post.
“But I had faith in myself. That I would undo the mistakes I had made. That life would give me another chance. A part of me is exhausted with the memory of those eight months and wants to erase that legacy. Much of it is already gone. Time will mop off the rest I believe,” he had said.