Srinagar, Feb 3: The State High Court today directed the Government to consider the objection filed by two SPs to the tentative seniority fixed for IPS induction and directed to hear them before finalizing the seniority list.
Observing, since the final seniority list is yet to be issued as such the petition in hand is wholly based on apprehensions. “The petitioners cannot file a writ petition merely on the basis of their apprehension that their positions in the seniority list are likely to be illegally altered, that too, at the instance of some hidden hands”, Justice Ali Mohammad Magrey said.
After hearing both the parties at length and in light of rules and various judgments with regard to issue, Court directed the respondent-Police department to consider the objections filed by the petitioners to the tentative seniority list and thereafter finalize the same.
“Respondents are further directed to ensure that the petitioners are heard in person with reference to the contentions raised in the objections before finalizing the seniority”, Justice Magrey directed.
He directed the authorities to complete the process of finalizing the seniority expeditiously preferably within one month from today. However, Court made it clear that anything said in the instant judgment is not intended to unsettle the settled things in the Service or to disturb what has long since been set at rest.
Petitioners, Aftab Ahmad Kakroo and Ramesh Kumar Jalla presently holding the posts of Superintendant of Police in J&K police services have filed the petition stating therein that State respondents are intending to disturb seniority as assigned to them in the seniority list notified in terms of order No.508 (P) of 2010 dated 29.04.2010 and for that reason their promotion for IPS induction may get affected.
By filing the petition, these two police officials were seeking direction to the respondents to finalize the seniority list of the posts of Superintendent of Police by giving due benefit of SRO 210 of 1994 as provided in Rule 3 of said Rules and maintain the seniority of the petitioners as was existing in the year 2010 drawn as per Rules.
The case of the petitioners, is that in order to implement the 50:50 ratio between the direct recruits and promotions, fixed and prescribed by Rule 3 of the Jammu and Kashmir Gazetted Service Recruitment (Amendment) Rules, 1994, the total number of the cadre posts in the rank of Deputy Superintendents of Police has to be determined inclusive of the deputation reserve and leave reserve posts, equivalent to their respective percentage provided in Government order no.GR-349(POLICE) of 1986 dated 26.09.1986.
The petitioners’ stated that they have reliably learnt that the committee formulated in this regard has made two alternate recommendations and that one is based on taking the reserve posts into consideration and the other without taking such posts into consideration.
It is alleged by the petitioners that some persons who are at advantageous positions in the Civil Secretariat are trying to manage and ensure that the second recommendation is accepted by the Government and, if that is done, the petitioners’ rights would be adversely affected inasmuch as their service period to the extent of 3 to 4 years would get wiped off without any reason and without affording them any hearing.
Court said since the final seniority list has not been issued and therefore things would continue to be fluid until the final seniority list is issued in implementation of the directions of the Court.
“When the final seniority list is issued, if someone is aggrieved of the position assigned to him therein, he can challenge the same, but the appropriate stage to come to the Court against such seniority list or the seniority position assigned therein would be only when the same is finally issued”, court said.
Court about to stop the process of fixing seniority said it cannot forestall such an exercise undertaken by the respondents, more so when the same is being done in implementation of the judgment of the Court.
“Determination of seniority of members of any Service is the job of the concerned competent authority; it is not the Court’s job. If the Court would proceed to meddle in the process of determination and finalization of the seniority of members of a Service, then, I am afraid, the job will never be accomplished”, Justice Magrey recorded.