Srinagar: The J&K High Court’s division bench on Monday issued a notice to government on an appeal filed by employees’ leader, Qayoom Wani, against single bench’s judgment on March 4 which upheld his transfer to Tangmarg School by the state’s Education department.
Admitting the appeal, the division bench of Justices Bansi Lal Bhat and B S Walia announced to take it up for final consideration and posted the case for arguments on March 17 subjected to the orders by the chief justice.
Wani’s counsel Mian Qayoom demanded stay on the March 4 verdict but there were no formal orders from the court as additional advocate general Mohammad lqbal Dar extended assurance that position existing as on date will be maintained till matter is finally disposed of.
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, after his “attachment” as consultant with project director Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan since July 2014 was cancelled on February 2.
Wani has challenged the single bench’s verdict on a number of grounds including the one regarding the recent transfer policy of the Education department.
“By transferring Wani, the respondents (commissioner secretary Education and director School Education Kashmir) have clearly violated the transfer policy notified by them on December 22, 2015,” Wani says in the appeal.
The transfer policy stipulates that a teaching staff member may be transferred from one school to another at the end of academic year and that the tenure would ordinarily be of two to three years, Wani said.
“However (I) was transferred to SSA Srinagar only on 15 July 2014 and therefore, respondents had no jurisdiction to transfer me from the post when (I’m) yet to complete two years at the post,” said Wani who also maintained that he was not attached by transferred to the SSA by the government.
Wani has also challenged the judgment on interpretation of ‘mala fides’. He also contended that the verdict was passed without going through the record by the single bench.
On March 4, the court had said that being an employee union leader does not entitle him to seek a posting of his choice, obliterate hedges of discipline and abandon official duties.
Wani had challenged the February 2 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.
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, the court said that the leaders are paid salaries from public money only for the purpose (here teaching).
The court had said 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.
The court had 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.”