Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir High Court has directed government “not to fill up” 1289 posts of Assistant Professor in 96 disciplines in the Degree Colleges of the State till further directions. On May 23 (vide notification no : 09-PSC (Dr-P) of 2013) Public Service Commission had notified posts carrying the pay scale of Rs 15600-39100 plus the academic pay grade of Rs 6000.
Hearing a petition by a number of aggrieved candidates through their counsel advocate Firdous A Parray, a single bench of Justice Bansi Lal Bhat stayed the notification till the next date of hearing of the case.
While claiming that the notification was “in violation of law”, the counsel cited an order passed by a coordinate bench of the court at Jammu in this regard.
“In the given facts and circumstances, it would not be proper to pass a different order/ direction other than the one passed by the coordinate bench of court, when the orders challenged in the two writ petitions are the same and one,” the bench said and issued a notice to the respondents for their response to the petition within two weeks.
“Subject to the objections, it is ordered that the petitioners who have to their credit M Phil Degree would be eligible to be considered for selection/appointment as Assistant Professors in the light of the order (passed in SWP no 1539/2014,),” the court said and further directed that the vacancies notified by virtue of the notification shall not be filled up till next date of hearing.
The petitioners pleaded that notification was issued on the basis of SRO-423 of 2008 December 23 2008, wherein it was provided that any candidate having in possession M.Phil degree is eligible for undergraduate level teaching. However, they said, “a note was appended with the prescribed qualification that the selection shall be taken on the basis of SRO-423 OF 2008 read with an order No. May 30 2012 issued on May 21 2013, passed by the Secretary Higher Education Department and has deleted the qualification of M.Phil from the eligibility criteria for the post of Assistant professors.”
They also pleaded that the order on May 21 2013 was challenged before the High court in Srinagar and Jammu— in SWP (No. 1288/13 C/W SWP No. 1400/13) at Jammu Wing and SWP No. 1080/2013 at Srinagar Wing—on the ground that the power of amendment to statutory rules ties with Governor or state legislature as rules are being framed under section 124 of the constitution of J&K and not executive order.
“The court quashed the order passed by Secretary Higher Education vide Judgment (on October 3, 2014 and directed the respondents that the petitioners and other candidates , who have M.Phil to their credit before the cut of date (June 24 2014 in the present case) are entitled for consideration of appointment as Assistant professors in view of SRO-423 Of 2008”.
As per the present notifications, the prescribed qualification includes Master’s Degree in the subject concerned with at least 55% marks (50% marks in case of scheduled caste/Scheduled Tribe and Physically and visually handicapped candidates) or its equivalent grade of “B” in the seven point scale from an Indian University or equivalent course/degree from an Indian/Foreign University with NET/SLET conducted by the UGC/CSIR/Association of Indian University (AIU)/University of Kashmir/Jammu or Ph.D.