JAMMU, Sept 21: In a petition regarding dearth of staff at various levels in the High Court and District Courts, pay anomaly in respect of officers and staff and promotional avenues to Law Graduate Readers, a Division Bench of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh High Court comprising Justice Tashi Rabstan and Justice Rajesh Sekhri has granted six weeks’ time to the respondents for producing the sanction order of creation of 132 posts in Phase-II.
After hearing both the sides, the DB observed, “compliance report in terms of the previous order has been filed on behalf of the Department of Law whereof it has been averred that pursuant to the meeting convened by the Chief Justice on 25.05.2023 it was recorded that the Chief Secretary has assured for creation of posts in a phased manner, leading to the interpretation that the Government has agreed for creation of all the 334 proposed posts”.
“It is to be seen here that when the matter was listed on 05.08.2022, Amit Gupta, AAG, had stated at the Bar that the Department of Law has recommended creation of 334 posts having financial implication of Rs 2402 lakh and the proposal has already been sent by the Law Department to the Finance Department for concurrence and sanction”, the DB observed, adding “therefore, at this stage the respondents are debarred from taking a different stand, thus cannot be allowed to backtrack from their earlier stand or word of honor”.
“In the compliance report the respondents have averred that 24 posts of different cadres have already been created in the first phase and that in the second phase 132 posts are being created, a detailed breakup has also been given in the compliance report. It is averred that the Finance Department has also given its concurrence for creation of 132 posts under various categories vide U.O. No.FD-Code/106/2021-03-890 dated 18.09.2023 and the same has already been sent to the competent authority for placing it before the Administrative Council for its consideration and approval”, the DB noted.
Accordingly, DB granted six weeks’ time to the respondents for doing the needful and producing the sanction order of creation of 132 posts in Phase-II on the next date of hearing.
“As regards the assertion of respondents with regard to filling up of 148 already available vacancies, as projected in compliance report, the same is out rightly rejected”, Division Bench said and directed that the respondents are bound to create the posts after the proposal to create the posts in a phased manner came to be accepted by the Government.
“Respondents are directed to place on record on the next date of hearing the proposal for creation of rest of the posts to be created in the final and last third phase”, the DB said and even directed the petitioner-Joginder Singh to file an affidavit disclosing how many of the posts mentioned in the compliance report are actually meant for District Court posts and has no relation with the present litigation.