SRINAGAR: The High Court on Wednesday asked the government to disclose by next week its stand about the filling up of principal Government Medical College (GMC) Srinagar post on a “regular basis”.
The directions by a division bench of Justices Muzaffar Hussain Attar and B S Walia followed its observation that the government was creating “problems” by temporary arrangements and that it was duty-bound to fill up the post on a regular basis.
The court was hearing an appeal filed by Dr Kaiser Ahmad, who is temporarily looking after the post since December 19 last year after Dr Rafiq Ahmad Pampori tendered resignation.
In the appeal, Dr Kaiser has challenged the single bench’s 31 December, 2015, order that asked the government to fill up the post on regular basis within a period of four weeks by “having regard to the rule position”.
In case that it was not done for any reason, the single bench of Justice Janak Raj Kotwal had directed that the government order regarding Dr Kaiser shall stay and that the government shall make fresh temporary arrangement in which “seniority shall prevail”.
The December-31 order was passed by the court on a petition filed by Dr Javed Chowdhary who laid claim to the post, saying that he was the senior-most professor in the faculty of GMC and that his rights were infringed by asking his junior, Dr Kaiser, to look after the post temporarily.
As the government did not challenge the order, Dr Kaiser filed the appeal, claiming that the seniority was not the only criteria for the appointment of the principal.
“Government order is only a temporary arrangement and the state is not aggrieved (of the single bench order) and if the state withdraws it, what right you have?” the division bench asked advocate Pirzada Salih, representing Dr Kaiser.
“When he (Dr Javed Chowdhary) is not considered for temporary arrangement, his right is infringed,” the bench added.
Interestingly, Dr Kaiser has filed the appeal after Dr Javed Chowdhary moved a fresh petition, seeking contempt proceedings against commissioner secretary Health for not obeying the court’s December-31 order.
Pointing towards additional advocate general (AAG) M A Rathore, representing the state’s health department, the division bench reminded the government that it was duly bound to fill up the post on regular basis.
“You (authorities) are creating problems by making temporary arrangements,” the bench said, and asked the AAG to seek instructions regarding regular appointment of the GMC principal post by next week.