Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir High Court has asked the state government to produce record to ascertain whether Dr Saleem-ur-Rehman is the only eligible candidate to be confirmed permanently on the post of Deputy Director Health Services Kashmir.
“Record of the candidates who have been considered for confirmation and appointment as Assistant Director as well as Deputy Director be produced,” a division bench of Chief Justice M M Kumar and Justice Hasnain Massodi directed while hearing a petition where government is under direction by the court to finalize regular promotions so as to pave way for appointment on permanent basis of various posts including Director Health Services Kashmir.
The record has been sought, the bench said, because it has been represented that for confirmation on the post of Deputy Director, the Health department has sent only one name that of Dr Saleem-ur-Rehman.
The stand by the government is based on the reason that Dr Saleem is the only eligible candidate.
“In order to satisfy the court, record has to be produced,” the bench said.
Moreover, this has been done, bench observed, without first fixing the seniority in violation of Articles 14 and 16 of the Constitution of India, as per arguments raised by SR Hussian, representing the petitioner Dr Mohammad Ashraf.
The bench also asked advocate Hussain may also file reply to the status report as court posted the case for further consideration on March 27.
In fact, the court adjourned the matter to March 27 after Senior Additional Advocate General informed that Secretary Heath Services has rushed to Delhi in connection with death of a Kashmiri doctor in Libya.
On last hearing, the court had asked Commissioner Secretary to implement its orders on regular promotions in the department before facing contempt proceedings.
While declining the officer’s prayer to extend time for complying with the directions passed which essentially are aimed to do away with adhocism in the department, the bench had directed the Commissioner Secretary to complete the process of regular promotions at earliest.
As per the directions by the court, the department is required to finalize regular promotions so as to pave way for appointment on permanent basis of various posts including Director Health Services Kashmir.
On January 1, 2013, the court had expressed its dissatisfaction over continuation of current stop-gap arrangement for Director Health and had directed government to fill up the post “strictly” within three months in accordance with the rules.
“Lest it gives an impression to the court that respondents are intentionally dilly dallying the matter so as to extend an undue benefit to anyone in completing this process, only three months from today (January 1, 2013) is granted to respondents to fill up the post,” the court had said.
The bench had directed government to strictly fill up the post in tune with Jammu and Kashmir Health and Family Welfare (Gazetted) Service Recruitment Rules, 2006.
On August 19 last year, the bench had extended by two months the time for completing process of regular promotion including that of CMOs, Medical Officers, Senior Consultants which till date has not been made.
On last date of hearing, the court had directed Public Service Commission to file detailed status report giving exact dates on which the proposal for finalizing the regular promotion has been made to enable the court to “fix responsibility” on erring officers for delaying the process.
The Commission had informed the court that a proposal from Health Department was received in November last year which was deficient in certain manners.
It said that despite a reminder regarding the deficiencies, the department has not furnished the details which would have facilitated the process of the regular promotions.