Srinagar: The High Court of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh upheld the regularization of services of orderlies working in the Transport department.
The court while upholding the writ court judgment pointed out that any intermittent break of one or two days in service would not disrupt the continuance in service as such breaks are artificially created.
A division bench of Chief Justice Pankaj Mithal and Justice Mohan Lal Manhas passed the direction in an appeal filed by the government challenging the writ court judgement wherein the orderlies of Transport department were entitled to regularization of services in terms of Jammu & Kashmir Civil Services (Special Provisions) Act, 2010.
The bench pointed out that the petitioners were appointed on temporary basis as orderlies in the Transport Department in the year 1999, some in 2002 and 2003 for a period of 89 days but were allowed to continue even thereafter with intermittent break of a day or so.
The court noted that after the enforcement of the J&K Civil Services (Special Provisions) Act, as the petitioners have completed more than seven years of continuous service and have otherwise fulfilled the essential conditions laid down for regularization therein, they claimed regularization but their claim was rejected by the government on the ground that they were drawing salary from the contingent fund.
The bench after perusing the material on record said that the Act contemplates seven years of completed service rather than continuous service and in such a situation intermittent breaks of a day or two or such artificial breaks are meaningless and would not be sufficient to hold that the petitioners/ respondents do not have seven years of service to their credit.
“The fact remains that the services continued from day one till the appointed day resulted in completion of seven years of service,” the bench noted.
The court while giving reference to the recent decision of the Supreme Court in State of Jammu and Kashmir and others versus District Bar Association, Bandipora, recorded that the scheme for regularization framed by the government must be for validating certain irregular appointments and cannot be used to validate illegal appointments and that the court cannot issue direction for regularization without considering the mandate of the Supreme Court and the prevailing rules and regulations on the subject, is of no help to the appellants in the present case inasmuch as no illegality has been pointed out at any stage in the appointment of the petitioners.
The court further said they (petitioners) may have been irregularly appointed and it is for this reason their cases fell for consideration of regularization in accordance with the statutory provisions of the above Act.
The court noted that the writ court has considered their cases for regularization in the light of the provisions of the Act without impinging upon the mandate of the Apex Court.
Adding that the petitioners/respondents have been found entitled for regularization of services in accordance with the prevailing rules and regulations.
“In view of all that has been said above, we find no illegality in the judgment and order passed by the writ court. The appeal as such is bereft of merits and is dismissed with no order as to costs,” court said and directed.