HC dismisses plea of 106 PHE ‘casual labourers’

Excelsior Correspondent
Srinagar, July 4: Division Bench of High Court has dismissed the plea of 106 persons claiming to have been engaged as casual labourers in Public Health Engineering Department when Court was informed that certain officials of the department were found responsible for their illegal registration in the department.
PHE counsel Irfan Andleeb (DyAG) submitted before the Court that a Committee formed by the Government to find out the irregularities found the officers/officials responsible for online registration of the said Division by one Habibullah Mir, the then AEE, PHE Division, Budgam and Manzoor Ahmad Yatoo, Establishment Clerk, PHE Division, Budgam.
He submitted during his arguments, it was felt that a detailed enquiry is necessitated as such it is expedient to invoke provision of Rule-31 of the J&K Classification Control and Appeal Rules, 1956. Now, therefore, in pursuance of the provisions of the Rule 31 of J&K Civil Services, Classification and Control Rules, 1956 pending enquiry both the officials, have been placed under suspension with immediate effect and attached with the Chief Engineer, I&FC Department and the disciplinary proceedings are going on against the two officials of the Department.
Court has been informed that the department only admitted the casual engagement of 15 writ petitioners out of 106. Even with regard to these 15, it was the case of the department that they were lastly engaged as casual labourers in the year 2009. Thereafter, not a single writ petitioner had been engaged in any capacity by the Public Health Engineering Department.
In support of their claims, the writ petitioners have placed reliance on different documents including the Aadhaar based biometric identification and skill profiling of casual, seasonal and other workers which was alleged to have been effected by the official respondents.
Committee further confirmed that more than 105 persons have been online registered in total contravention of instructions issued by the Finance Department on 02.09.2016 as against the actual fact that the said persons have worked for a limited period before 2009 and thereafter were not working in the Department in the year 2016.
Prima facie the Committee observed that the linking of Aadhar based Bio-metric and skill profiling of the said persons engaged on need based for a limited period before 2009 was against the norms. As such, liking with Aadhar based Bio-metric of the said persons was in total contravention of the circular instructions as issued by the Finance Department vide O.M No. A/106(94)-I-78 dated 02.09.2016.
The DB said, the writ court has concluded that the writ petitioners have come before this Court with a false case and accepted the contentions of the respondents.
The writ court has also accepted the submissions of the respondents that the appellants have manipulated, fabricated and forged documents which were the basis of their claims. With these observations the DB dismissed the appeal of all the persons claiming to be the casual labourers of the PHE department.