Srinagar: The J&K High Court has dismissed a petition challenging divergence in qualification and age limit criteria for the post of Principal Medical College Bemina among its faculty and that of SK Institute of Medical Science Soura.
According to the petitioner, Dr Reyaz Ahmad Untoo, the order issued by Director SKIMS was discriminatory as it prescribes as upper age limit for the post of Principal as 58 years regarding the faculty of SKIMS Medical College and Hospital Bemina Srinagar as against 60 years in respect of faculty of SKIMS Soura.
“The faculty of SKIMS Medical College has been discriminated as regards the age limit as against the faculty of SKIMS Soura,” said Dr Untoo, Professor and HoD SKIMS Bemina.
The essential qualification and experience prescribed for the post of Principal, he said, was much higher than the one prescribed for filling up the post of Director SKIMS and as such urged the court to quash the order (no.118-SKIMS of 2012) issued on November 6, 2012.
Dr Untoo had also sought directions to the government to follow government order (no-08-SKIMS of 2005) issued January 29, 2005 for filling up the post of Principal SKIMS Medical College and Hospital Bemina Srinagar.
According to Untoo, he was appointed as Assistant Professor in Ophthalmology in the Jhelum Valley College of Medical Sciences (JVCMS) in 1996. Subsequently, the Medical College was taken over by the SKIMS Soura, pursuant to a government order on October 12, 1998.
Upon the takeover, Untoo said, he was appointed as Assistant Professor and HoD Ophthalmology SKIMS Medical College and continued as such upto July 18, 2005.
Subsequently, he was promoted as Associate Professor and HoD on July 19, 2005 and worked upto October 29 2010 when he was appointed as the Professor and HoD.
In its objections, Director SKIMS said that earlier the post of Principal of SKIMS Medical College and Hospital Bemina was filled up from the senior faculty members of SKIMS Soura.
A decision was taken that the eligibility for promotion of the existing faculty members and appointment of Lecturers at the entry level of the SKIMS Medical College Bemina Srinagar is to be determined with reference to Government Medical College Rules and Medical Council of India norms, the Director said.
By virtue of the order on November 6 2012, the Director said, the faculty of SKIMS Medical College now also has opportunity to compete for the appointment against the post of Principal in the Medical College, which was being filled up till then only from the senior faculty members of SKIMS Soura.
The Director SKIMS, represented before the court by advocate M I Dar, said that condition of eligibility and qualifications prescribed were in line with Medical Council of India Regulations and the Rules as applicable to the post of Principal in the Medical Colleges in the state.
Regarding age, the counsel said that no illegality was committed as the age of retirement in SKIMS Soura was 60 years and that in SKIMS Medical College was 58 years.
On prescribing higher standards of qualification and eligibility for the post of Principal as against the post of Director, he said, the qualification was strictly in terms of Medical Council of India Regulations and those applicable to the post of Principal in the state Medical Colleges.
He said no exception could be taken to the qualification as prescribed for the post of Principal.
After hearing both the parties, a single bench of court comprising Justice Tashi Rabstan rejected Untoo’s petition.
“The fact that the main petition stands dismissed, upholding the criteria as regards age and qualification prescribed for the post of Principal, the present petition accordingly do not survive,” the court said and dismissed it.