SRINAGAR: A person who cannot read or write Urdu, the official language of the state, cannot be appointed as Naib Tehsildar, the J&K high court has ruled.
The Naib Tehsildar is the first grass root level officer in the Revenue Department and has to pass orders on mutation, deal with the preparation of revenue records including that of Kharif and Girdawari records. These records are prepared in Urdu.
“A person, who cannot read or write Urdu, in view of the functions which are to be discharged by a Naib Tehsildar, cannot be appointed as Naib Tehsildar,” a bench of Justice Muzaffar Hussain Attar observed while directing the government to consider and appoint those petitioners who challenged appointment of 29 Naib-Tehsildars being Urdu illiterates.
The 29 candidates, mostly from Jammu, were selected in 2009 and then national Conference-Congress government granted relation in qualification which requires a candidate to be a graduate having passed matric with Urdu as one of the subjects.
Disposing of bunch of petitions, the court directed the government to issue the appointment orders in favour of the petitioners within four weeks.
“In case of those of the petitioners who might have crossed the upper age limit for entering into Government services, it shall be deemed that relaxation is granted in the upper age limit. The petitioners in this situation shall be given all the service benefits including the seniority from the date the private respondents have been appointed on the posts of Naib Tehsildars,” the court said.
The petitioners, court said, shall be given all the service benefits including the seniority from the date the private respondents have been appointed on the posts of Naib Tehsildars. “The petitioners, however, will not be entitled to any monitory benefit for the period between appointment of private respondents and till the date of their appointments,” it said.
Service Selection Board had issued advertisement (notification No. 01/2002) on 26 April 2002 for 52 NT posts. The selection process could not be concluded and in the meanwhile, one more advertisement (notification No. 09/2005) for 39 posts was issued on 14 December 2005. The selection process too remained inconclusive and in the meanwhile, the SSB issued another advertisement (notification No. 04/2008) on 26 May 2008 for 20 posts of Naib Tehsildars.
The selection process culminated in making recommendation in favour of the selected candidates which include the 29 private respondents.
Aggrieved, a number of candidates had approached the court with the plea that some ineligible candidates were selected as they were not having Urdu as one of the subjects in Matric.