Srinagar: Being an employee union leader does not entitle him to seek a posting of his choice, obliterate hedges of discipline and abandon official duties. The high court made these remarks on Friday while dismissing a petition by Qayoom Wani, whose attachment as consultant with project director Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan since July 2014 had been cancelled on February 2.
Wani, who is the president of Employees Joints Action Committee (EJAC) and School Education Employee Coordination Committee, and chairman of J&K Teachers Forum, had been transferred to Tangmarg, his hometown, on the orders of commissioner secretary school education department.
Wani had challenged the order, claiming it has been issued out of vendetta against him by director School Education Kashmir whom he had arrayed in the petition as ‘Faisal Rasool Shah alias Shah Faisal of Sogam, Kupwara’, without mentioning his official designation.
“The way his (Shah Faesal’s) particulars have been mentioned in the array of respondents (in the petition), smacks of the over awing mannerism and degradation of socially accepted norms of respect and discipline,” a single bench of Justice Ali Mohammad said while dismissing Wani’s plea, mainly centered around claims of mala fides.
“Saying that the union leaders will also have to go to the schools to teach students would not in any way come within the definition of mala fides. They are really being paid their salaries from public money only for that purpose,” the court said.
The court added that transfers and postings are part of government services and an employee can move court for legal remedy if he feels aggrieved on account of the transfer on legally tenable grounds.
While the right to form associations is constitutionally guaranteed, it has limitations as well, the court observed.
Going by the factual details, the court said, there is no scope to doubt the object behind the February 2 order of repatriation and subsequent transfer of Wani, who is a master in the education department and holds the designation of Incharge Headmaster.
The court said that transfer of teachers, masters and incharge headmasters was routine and Wani has not been singled out.
“It otherwise sounds strange and illogical that a master is designated as Incharge Headmaster but does not actually hold such a charge. The relevant Recruitment Rules do not envisage any such designation. Such a designation is a misnomer.”
Incharge designations, the court said, connote a situation where a person is actually put in the charge of a higher post to discharge its functions.
“It speaks of exigency of a service demanding immediate and effective arrangements, which cannot be used as a garb for conferment of fortuitous benefit,” the court noted.
While dismissing Wani’s plea, the court also vacated the stay on February 2, meaning that he would have to join posting in Tangmarg.