HC passes strictures against SWD for callous attitude


Jammu, May 27: Justice Moksha Khajuria Kazmi of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh High Court at Srinagar Wing while disposing of the petition, passed strictures against Social welfare Department for callous attitude.
Justice Moksha Khajuria Kazmi while disposing of the petition observed that Before parting with the file, it is recorded herein that the present litigation is more attributable to the callous attitude of the concerned department than it being an act of the aggrieved individual, for, initially, the respondents without ascertaining the genuineness of the certificate of one Mehjabeena Akhter engaged her as Anganwari worker for the ward in question. Later on, again without bothering themselves much to see as to who is more meritorious, and suitable candidate for the post in question, took refuge in the Deputy Commissioner's order as also in the interim order of this Court passed in SWP no. 876/2015 and engaged Roomi Akhter when it was well within their knowledge that there are candidates who are more meritorious, therefore, more suitable for the post, than the said Roomi Akhter. It is because of such lackadaisical approach of the respondents that the present petitioners are entangled in litigation and that the post has remained unfilled. The present litigation and the mess created, therefore, is solely an outcome of an administrative incongruity. This kind of litigation would never come into being if a little diligence is shown by the concerned towards their duties. Let this serve as a lesson for the respondents in future.
According to the petition that in terms of advertisement notice no. DIPK-1457 dated 17.05 .2008, applications were invited from the eligible female candidates for engagement of Anganw-adi Workers on honorarium basis for Anganwadi Centre in the Panch wards of ICDS Project Anantnag. The petitioners' of both the writ petitions applied for Anganwadi Centre Ward-13 along with all other eligible candidates. The selection process for the said post culminated into appointment of Mehjabeena Akhter, vide order No. 13 CDPOA of 2008 dated 18.08.2008. The appointment of said Mehjabeena Akhter, however, upon being complained about by one of the competing candidates, Roomi Akhter, on the ground of eligibility, was cancelled for not being the resident of ward no. 13, and, accordingly, she was disengaged from services by the official respondents. Aggrieved of the cancellation of her appointment, Mehjabeena Akhter challenged the same by way of a writ petition bearing SWP No. 366/2012.The writ petition, however, came to be dismissed in terms of judgment dated 09.11.2012 and respondents were directed to proceed with the selection in accordance with the Rules. Petitioner in SWP No. 876/2015, Roomi Akhter, had initially filed an application before the Competent Authority for cancellation of appointment of Mehjabeena Akhter and also the ward certificate issued in her favour. Upon inquiry, the Additional Deputy Com-missioner, Anantnag, found that the case needs further scrutiny at the ground lev-el and appointed the Assistant Commissioner Revenue, Anantnag, as inquiry officer for conducting a full dressed inquiry in presence of the parties. Justice Moksha Khajuria Kazmi after hearing both the sides observed that the selection process initiated for the post in question in the year 2008 had culminated in the engagement of Roomi Akhter in the year 2017 but till date, because of the pendency of the litigation, none of the candidates is actually holding the post to run the Anganwadi Centre. True it is that the petitioner, Tasleema Jan, had chosen to approach the court in the year 2018 when Roomi Akhter, though comparatively lower in merit, had managed to disengage the services of a selected candidate namely Mehjabeena Akhter by an established act of law, but the plea taken in support of such delay by the petitioner, Tasleema Jan, that she had approached the Competent Authorities with the representations seeking engagement against the post in question, have remained uncontroverted, therefore, cannot be brushed aside.
High Court diposed of the petition with the direction that the respondents shall consider the claim of both the candidates, Roomi Akhter and Tasleema Jan, in respect of their engagement as Angan Wari Worker for the Anganwadi Centre in question. Both the petitioners shall be associated with the consideration process by allowing them to put forward their stand effectively.
High Court further observed that the engagement of the Roomi Akhter made in terms of order dated 20.06.2017 in the circumstances cannot withstand, therefore, same is quashed and directed the respondents to issue an engagement order in favour of the candidate who emerges out to be more suitable for the post in question in reference to the merit cum suitability and of course in accordance with the applicable norms.

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