SRINAGAR: The High Court on Thursday quashed a home department order that terminated the recruitment process for various non-gazetted and class-IV posts in the Fire and Emergency Services Department last year.
A number of aggrieved candidates had challenged the government order (no. 381-Home of 2016) dated 5 July 2016, whereby the Home Department terminated the recruitment process despite the fact that almost three-fourths of the process had been completed.
The Fire and Emergency Services Department had issued three advertisement notices (no.01 of 2013) on 12.03.2013; (no.02 of 2013) on 12.03.2013 and (no.03 of 2013) on 26.06.2013 for filling up of one foreman post, Sub Officer (75 posts), Fireman/Fireman Driver (740 posts), Junior Electrician (04 posts), Painter (04 posts), Vulcanizer (2 posts), Plumber (02 posts), Cook (02 posts) and Barbar (2 posts); various steno-typist and 41 posts of junior assistant (leading Fireman-M); and posts of Sweepers and Safaiwalas.
Thereafter, the Recruitment Board issued a notice notifying the schedule for conducting the first phase of interviews, which included physical tests and measurements in respect of the eligible candidates who had offered their candidature in response to the advertisement notices.
Subsequently, the Recruitment Board issued a notice for a written test which was published in a local daily. It notified the list of candidates who had qualified the first phase of the interviews comprising physical tests and measurements, etc.
The petitioners submitted that they passed the physical tests, duly appeared in the written examination and did well their satisfaction. On the basis of their performance in the written test they expected to be called for interview.
However, the home department order dashed their hopes by cancelling the entire recruitment process and ordering fresh advertisement for the posts.
A single bench of Justice Ali Mohammad Magrey said, “…perusal of the impugned order reveals that the Government upon examination of various aspects of the recruitment proceedings had noticed the discrepancies on the basis of which it came to the conclusion that the selection process was not transparent and flawless and, therefore, it could not be carried forward….
“There is nothing contained in these discrepancies as could be said to have rendered the advertisement notices flawed. It is also not anybody’s case that the advertisement notices contained any term or condition contrary to Rules or not envisaged by the Recruitment Rules governing the service. It is also not a case where the Government has decided not to fill up the vacancies which had been notified by these advertisement notices,” the court said.
It said there cannot be anything just, fair and equitable in a decision like the Home Department’s order, “which has under the garb of there being discrepancies in the selection process undertaken, sought to terminate even the advertisement notices as well.”
The court quashed the Home Department order to the extent that it seeks to terminate the advertisement notices and to the extent that it orders that the Director General, Fire & Emergency Services, J&K will issue fresh advertisement notices inviting applications for the non-gazetted and Class IV posts of various categories advertised by the Department in 2013.