Srinagar: The J&K High Court has directed the Commissioner Secretary Health and Medical Education to explain the reasons for appointing Dr Shafqat Khan as In-charge Medical Superintendent GB Pant Hospital “in violation of recruitment rules.”
“It needs to be emphasised that only a Deputy Medical Superintendent with five years experience as such is eligible in terms of Recruitment Rules for appointment as Medical Superintendent,” a single bench of Justice Hasnain Masoodi said while hearing a petition filed by two doctors challenging Dr Shafqat Khan’s appointment as the Medical Superintendent of the hospital on grounds of being ‘ineligible’ for the post.
“The eligibility criteria as also merit are to be adhered to and followed even where the post is proposed to be filled up on a stop gap basis. The respondent (government) cannot ignore the recruitment rules in the name of inter cadre deputation,” the court said in its order of 24 August, and directed the Commissioner Secretary to file an affidavit in this regard by next date of hearing on September 7.
As per the guidelines, a Deputy Medical Superintendent with five years experience is eligible to be appointed as a Medical Superintendent, and an In-charge Medical Superintendent has to have experience of two years as Deputy Medical Superintendent.
On August 6, the court directed the Commissioner Secretary to file an affidavit indicating the circumstances in which a medical officer not holding the post of Deputy Medical Superintendent GB Pant Hospital, vide government order dated 21 July 2015 has been appointed as Medical Superintendent of the hospital without adhering to the J&K Medical Education Gazetted Rules, 1979.
The court had observed that as per the rules, the post of Medical Superintendent is a promotional post to be filled from amongst eligible Deputy Medical Superintendents and the appointee (Shafqat) would not be eligible for the post.
By virtue of the July 21 order, Dr Shafqat Khan, district immunization officer Pulwama, was posted as In-charge MS GB Pant here on inter cadre deputation basis.
Dr Shafqat was an assistant surgeon who was later deputed as a personal doctor to then-chief minister Farooq Abdullah. Then he became an officer on special duty, and was also Health Officer, Srinagar Municipal Corporation.