SRINAGAR: The J&K high court on Tuesday upheld its single bench verdict which on March 4 dismissed employees’ leader Qayoom Wani’s plea against his transfer to Tangmarg School by the state’s Education department.
“Having minutely gone through the impugned judgment, we are of the view that the writ court (single bench) has dealt with the matter in accordance with the law settled by the Supreme Court, particularly the one governing transfers,” said a division bench of Justices B L Bhat and B S Walia while dismissing Wani’s appeal.
Wani, who is the president of Employees Joints Action Committee (EJAC) and School Education Employee Coordination Committee, and chairman of J&K Teachers Forum, had been transferred to Tangmarg, his hometown, after his “attachment” as consultant with project director Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan since July 2014 was cancelled on February 2.
Wani had challenged the single bench’s verdict on a number of grounds including the one that it has been passed by the authorities on ‘mala fides’.
“The Government is the best judge to decide how to distribute and utilize the services of its employees. However, this power has to be exercised honestly, bona fide and reasonably, not on extraneous considerations or for achieving an alien or oblique motive; conversely it would amount to mala fide and colourable exercise of power. The order in the instant case has not been issued for any extraneous consideration or oblique motive,” the court said, adding Wani has been transferred and posted “where, by dint of his appointment, he ought to be.”
The court also rejected Wani’s contention that the authorities lacked powers to repatriate him from SSA and post him as incharge Headmaster at Ogmuna, Tangmarg as he had gone on month’s medical leave from 16 January and was on leave on February 2, when the impugned order was passed.
He had referred to Articles 39 and 126 of the Jammu and Kashmir Civil Service Regulations, which relate to the handing over and taking over of the charge and how an officer on medical leave may be required to produce a medical certificate of fitness signed by the Medical Officer.
Mohammad Iqbal Dar, counsel for government submitted that he did not annex the leave applications with his writ petition.
“This is an afterthought on his part and that appellant cannot be allowed to take any additional factual plea in the appeal. We agree with the argument advanced by Dar; (Wani) cannot be allowed to take such a plea for the first time in appeal, when the same has not been taken up before the Writ Court,” the division bench added.