HC vacates stay, directs SSB to re-work select list within 4 weeks

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, May 5: In a significant judgment, High Court has disposed of a batch of 11 writ petitions wherein challenge had been thrown to the selection of 36 Junior Physiotherapists by J&K Service Selection Board way back in October 2015 and because of the interim directions the appointments had been stalled.
While vacating the stay order in all the writ petitions, Justice Dhiraj Singh Thakur directed the SSB to re-work the select list within a period of 4 weeks and said that such of the candidates, who do not fulfill the eligibility conditions by extended cut-off date—28.02.2013 shall be held to be ineligible.
Earlier, Deputy Advocate General Raman Sharma appearing for SSB submitted that none of the petitioners before the court have secured the marks anywhere near the cut-off merit. However, the petitioners might otherwise find a place after the SSB re-works the merit list on account of exclusion of five candidates namely Anshu Sharma, Shabir Ahmed, Mamta Bhagat, Shazia Zia and Arjun Singh Katoch.
Advocate Sheikh Shakeel Ahmed with Advocates Irfan Khan, Sheikh Najeeb Ahsraf and Liaqat Ali appearing for the selected candidates drew the attention of the court to supplementary affidavit filed by SSB wherein names of 15 selected candidates were mentioned who were found eligible within the cut-off date and because of the stay order, their recommendations were not released to the Administrative Department for appointment.
Advocate Ahmed further submitted that the candidates possess the requisite eligibility including timely completion of 6 months rotatory internship and have suffered a lot because of the stay order operating since October 2015.
Senior Advocate Surinder Kour with Advocate Manpreet Kour, Advocates Anchit Sharma, Parimoksh Seth, F A Natnoo, Vipin Gandotra and Abrar Ahmed appearing for the petitioners submitted that the selected candidates had failed to produce the requisite bonafide certificate, certificate with regard to the validity of the degree and also failed to produce the compulsory rotatory internship completion certificate by the last date prescribed as per the notification dated 28.02.2013 and their names could not have been reflected in the select list at all.
At this stage, Deputy Advocate General Raman Sharma produced the records of the selected candidates before the court in order to demonstrate that the selected candidates possessed the requisite eligibility and the bonafide certificate had been requisitioned just to ascertain the genuineness of the degrees obtained by selected candidates from outside the state.
After considering the submissions of both the sides, Justice Dhiraj Singh Thakur observed, “Clause 11 of the Advertisement Notice dated 28.12.2012 reveals that the cut-off date for determining the eligibility for the post was the last date for receipt of application forms. Notice dated 16.02.2013 has to be read in conjunction with Clause 11 of the basic advertisement notice and therefore, once the cut-off date is extended, the eligibility date also gets extended simultaneously”.
Advocate Gagan Basotra appearing for the petitioners in Anshu Sharma’s case bearing SWP No. 1186/2016 urged that the cut-off date has to be taken as the date of interview and not as the cut-off date for receipt of application forms. The court however, rejected the contention of Advocate Gagan Basotra.
With these observations, Justice Dhiraj Singh Thakur vacated the interim directions and directed SSB to re-work the select list within a period of four weeks from today.