Srinagar: The J&K High Court has quashed the forcible retirement of an official of Handicrafts department who had been shunted out on grounds of having Vigilance cases registered against him.
Observing that mere registration of cases cannot form a ground for compulsive retirement, Justice M K Hanjura quashed the retirement order of Abdul Rashid Bhat, KAS, then Joint Registrar, INDUSCO Handicraft Department and directed the government to reinstate him within a month and grant him all the consequential benefits.
Bhat was terminated from his services in 2015 on the ground that many cases were registered against him by Vigilance organisation. Also, as per the order, the conduct of the officer was not satisfactory.
Bhat challenged the government order before J&K High court stating that he had never abused official position or indulged in corrupt practices.
“The government in its order had terminated his services to the effect that he having already attained 48 years of age, shall retire from service w.e.f. the forenoon of the 1st day of July, 2015,” the petition reads.
While quashing the order No. 865-GAD of 2015 dated 30th of June, 2015 the court said, “it is not based on any material from which a reasonable opinion could be derived to put forward the plea that the petitioner has outlived his utility as a government servant or that his conduct was such that his continuance in service would be prejudicial to the public interest.”