Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir High Court has quashed selection of at least 900 wireless operators in J&K Police and has asked government to reframe the list in accordance with rules within four weeks.
Announcing the judgment, a single bench of Justice Hasnain Massodi said that the advertisement notice (March 9, 2007), seeking applications for the posts, was not “tailored in accordance with rules.”
“It neither mentioned number of posts to be filled up with district wise breakup nor did it inform the candidates of the selection at district level,” the bench observed while quashing the selection list.
“Had recruitment been intended to be made district wise, respondents would have maintained District wise Roaster in compliance of Rule 5 of Reservation Rules 2005,” the court said, adding, “This has not been done leading to the conclusion that though selection and recruitment was to be made at the state level yet after finalizing the selection process at state level, decision was taken at last moment to make district wise selection.”
While directing the respondents to re-frame the list in accordance with the J&K Reservation Act 2004 and J&K Reservation Rules 2005, the court directed the government to consider candidates for appointment in order of merit against 1126 posts admittedly proposed to be filled up on finalization of selection process initiated vide the advertisement notice.
“However, selection and appointment of such of the private respondents, who find place in the reframed select list and having regard to their place in the merit list and the number of vacancies to be filled up, make grade for their appointment, shall remain intact and undisturbed,” the court said.
The court rejected as “bereft of any substance” the contention by the respondents that the petitioners are stripped of any right to question select list and appointments made on the basis of the select list after participating in selection process.
The bench also turned down the argument advanced by the respondents that it would be too harsh to set aside Select List and appointments when those appointed have worked for at-least last three years.
“It must not influence the Court to legitimize an unfair and arbitrary selection that smells of favoritism,” the bench said, adding, “Injustice is not to be condoned on the ground of delay in dispensation of justice, nor can it be perpetuated only because those who would not have right to enjoy public largesse were arbitrarily given access to benefit and have continued to enjoy such benefit for some time.”
The bench said tendency to condone injustice and overlook violation of rules and regulations makes those who “flock to Courts to get their grievances redressed, lose faith in administration of justice system.”
While advocate M Y Bhat appeared on behalf of the aggrieved candidates, the state was represented by Additional Advocate General R A Khan.