Dr Iqbal Wani said he had applied for study leave
SRINAGAR: The J&K High Court has directed state government to reinstate an assistant surgeon terminated in 2012 on ground of unauthorized absence from duty while still on probation.
Justice M K Hanjura while quashing the government order No. 309–HME OF 2013 dated 25.04.2013, directed state authorities to allow Dr Mohammad Iqbal Wani to join back his services as were rendered by him prior to the issuance of the impugned order. The court also directed authorities to grant the petitioner with all the consequential benefits.
Wani, according to his petition, had applied for study leave for joining a DNB course and had been informally told to proceed till his case is processed. He challenged the termination order on the grounds that similarly situated assistant surgeons working with him in the department were granted study leave for pursuing the DNB and other courses both within and outside the state and the order of his termination was an arbitrary exercise of jurisdiction.
Justice Hanjura remarked that the state cannot apply different set of standards while determining the cases of the similarly situated persons. “The state cannot afford to treat the same set of employees on two different pedestals. The case of the petitioner could not have been treated as a sui-generis case by applying different standards in measuring the extent of the benefits to be provided to him. There should be fairness in the dealings and the agility of the state,” he said.
The petition stated that Wani was selected for DNB Course in Cardiology at Fortis Hospital Mohali and was required to join the course by 9th of March 2012.
He formally applied for grant of study leave before the concerned authorities. The petitioner has stated that he was verbally directed by the respondents to join the said course till his case is considered and study leave is formally granted in his favour. On the assurance of the respondents the petitioner left the Department of Health and joined the DNB course at Mohali, from where he remained in constant touch with the respondents requesting them to accord sanction to his study leave but to his dismay, a termination order was issued.