Srinagar: The high court has directed the state government to appoint an eligible person as Principal of Government Medical College (GMC) Srinagar on regular basis within a period of eight weeks.
A division bench of Justice Muzaffar Hussain Attar and Justice Ali Mohammad Magrey observed that the post of Principal GMC was of considerable public importance and has to be filled up on regular basis in accordance with the rules. The bench observed that the GMC principal’s post was selection and not a promotional one in nature.
Advocate M Iqbal Dar, representing state’s Health and Medical Education department, referred to rule book to support his arguments that the post was not to be filled up on the basis of seniority alone as contended by Dr Javed Chowdhary who laid claim to the post, saying that he was the senior-most faculty member of GMC and that his rights were infringed when his junior, Dr Kaiser was asked to look after the post temporarily.
“GMC principal is not an ordinary post and as such a suitable person has to appointed. It can’t be done randomly,” Dar said, adding that an ‘establishment committee’ is to be constituted for the purpose.
“We are not saying that you appoint unsuitable person but you believe in adhocism,” the bench remarked and directed the state government through Chief Secretary to fill up the post on regular basis in accordance with rules within eight weeks time.
“For filling up the vacancy of Principal on regular basis, all eligible candidates shall be considered. The present arrangement where under (Dr Kaiser Ahmad) has been asked to look after the post of Principal shall continue only for eight weeks from today.”
The court also directed the government to assign Dr Javed Chowdhary a job commensurate to his status and that no impediment shall be caused in the discharge of his duties.
The direction by the court followed submissions by his counsel that Dr Chowdhary is not provided ‘suitable’ job despite having merit and experience.
“For what is my client (Dr Javed Chowdhary) paid Rs 1.20 lakh every month when he is not even allowed to enter GMC?” Chowdhary’s counsel said.
The court was hearing an appeal filed by Dr Kaiser Ahmad, who is temporarily looking after the post of Principal GMC sinceDecember 19 last year when Dr Rafiq Ahmad Pampori tendered his resignation.
Dr Kaiser has challenged the single bench order of 31 December 2015 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 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”.