*Passes strictures for not following rule position
JAMMU, Sept 14: A Division Bench of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh High Court comprising Justice Tashi Rabstan and Justice Mohan Lal today directed Government to create supernumerary posts for the respondents Ruppali Phull and Abdul Rehman in Jammu and Kashmir Combined Competitive Exam (JKCCE) without any delay and they shall be entitled to all consequential benefits including seniority, promotion etc. from the date the other similarly situated candidates came to be appointed minus the monetary benefits.
While dismissing the appeal filed by GAD & others after hearing Senior Advocate Abhinav Sharma with Advocate Abhimanyu Sharma and Nitin Bhasin for the respondents whereas AAG Raman Sharma for the State, the DB observed, “it is the admitted case that the Public Service Commission had failed to draw up the waiting list of candidates in the order of merit in terms of Rule 57 of the Jammu & Kashmir Public Service Commission (Business & Procedure) Rules, 1980 and SRO 387 dated 01.12.2008”.
“The purpose of such a list is that in case any meritorious candidate fails to join for any reason then the next meritorious candidate may be offered vacant post as it is an existing vacancy. Therefore, we do not find any force in the stand of appellants-State that all the vacancies occurring due to non-joining of candidates should be carried forward to the subsequent competitive examination – a stand which is totally alien to Rule 57 and SRO 387”, the DB said.
“Further, the appellants-State, more particularly the officers at the helm of affairs of the State dealing with the matter, have taken two contradictory stands—on one hand they have averred that out of 182 candidates 17 candidates did not join within 21 days and, on the other hand, they have averred that the vacancies that occurred on account of resignation of the selected candidates after joining the services have necessarily to be referred to the Public Service Commission for being filled up through next Combined Competitive Examination”, the DB further said, adding “it seems the appellants are trying to twist the facts to suit their own case. Although the appellants-State were expected to follow the rule position as well as the SRO while issuing the select list and making appointments-in-question, but they acted arbitrarily, as per their own whim and caprice thereby making mockery of the system without realizing that respondents Ruppali Phull and Abdul Rehman have been suffering for the last about twelve years without any fault on their part”.
“The Single Judge vide judgment dated 08.08.2013 had directed the appellants to accord consideration to the appointment of Ruppali Phull and Abdul Rehman when the posts-in-question have certainly not been filled up. In case of Abdul Rehman the post-in-question came to be filled up in September, 2013, i.e., after the judgment of Single Judge, and, in case of Ruppali Phull the post-in-question came to be filled up in the year 2018, by which time even the Division Bench and the Apex Court had also opined on the matte”, the DB said, adding “filling up of the post was clearly in breach of the directions issued by the Single Judge that one post be kept reserved for respondent Ruppali Phull”.
With these observations Division Bench not inclined to take a view other than the one taken by the Single Judge. Accordingly, both the appeals were dismissed along with connected CM/IA. “Further, in case the posts-in-question have already been filled up, in such an eventuality the appellants-State are directed to create supernumerary posts for the respondents Ruppali Phull and Abdul Rehman without any delay and they shall be entitled to all consequential benefits including seniority, promotion etc. from the date the other similarly situated candidates came to be appointed minus the monetary benefits”, the DB directed.
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