CAT stays final seniority of JKAS officers

Excelsior Correspondent

Srinagar, Sept 25: The Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) has stayed the Government order whereby the final seniority of Jammu and Kashmir Administrative Service has been changed.
The aggrieved JKAS officers through their senior counsel Jehangir Iqbal Ganai challenged the Government order No. 316-JK (GAD) of 2021 dated 07.04.2021 in terms whereof, without hearing them, the seniority position assigned to the them in the final seniority list of the officers of the Jammu and Kashmir Administrative Service (JKAS) appointed to the service w.e.f., 01.01.2004 to 01.12.2008 as notified in terms of Govt. Order No. 743- GAD of 2011 dated 26.04.2011 has been changed.
“At this juncture, interim relief can be provided to the extent of staying the operation of the impugned order. Accordingly, the respondents are restrained from operating the impugned Government Order No. 316-JK (GAD) dated 07.04.2021 till the next date of hearing before the Bench”, the CAT bench comprising of Anand Mathur and Rakesh Sagar Jain directed.
Advocate Ganai prayed for interim relief till final adjudication of the main case for reserving two posts in the Super Time Scale in Indian Administrative Service. However, Government   opposed the contention of the counsel appearing for aggrieved candidates and stated that the seniority position of the applicants has been changed in terms of the directives contained in order dated 30.03.2021 and the seniority list of 2011 issued vide Government Order No. 743-GAD of 2011 dated 24.06.2011 is in accordance with the JKAS Rules.
The CAT after hearing both the parties, perused the records and admitted the case. It directed the Government counsel to file counter affidavit within four weeks with the liberty to applicants counsel for filing of rejoinder affidavit, to the counter affidavit of Government within two weeks thereafter.
The CAT has clearly held that once a final seniority list has been published, the Government becomes functus officio for all practical purposes and said, the respondents have deviated from this direction of the Tribunal and concluded that there is a prima facie case for granting interim relief to the applicants.