Srinagar: The High Court of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh on Friday directed the Services Selection Board (SSB) to complete the selection process of Assistant Information Officers within three months, after the Chairman of the Board assured the court that the selection process will be completed in the shortest period of time.
The court while hearing a contempt plea noted that the process for selection has remained pending for more than eight months after Chairman Khalid Jehangir, who was present before the court, submitted a report which was taken on record.
“We have examined the status report and found that the Board is taking the selection process to its logical conclusion. Three months as sought for is granted. The officer present need not appear on the next date of hearing,” the court said.
Previously, the court had recorded that the Board had taken eight long months to see the result of the representations, which amounts to delay in implementation of the direction passed by this court, which amounts to contempt of the court.
“Court is not satisfied with the approach adopted by the respondents for implementation of the order, therefore, the Chairman, Services Selection Board, shall appear in person before the Court on the next date of hearing on 9 September,” the court had directed.
Earlier, the petitioner candidates sought implementation of the final order passed by the Division Bench of the Court in LPA No. 184/2013 along with connected matter on 10 May 2013, in terms whereof while upholding the Judgment of the Single Bench, the court had directed the respondent Board to proceed with the selection afresh, that is, first to constitute the committees as required and then to fix the criteria.
The writ court in its verdict had concluded prejudice to petitioners due to the change in criteria in the middle of the selection process and methodology on the date of the Aptitude test and interview held by the Board in October 2011.
It had held the selection process invalid with the observation that the Board had sidelined the merit in the qualifying examination, as no credit had been given to higher qualification.