Similarly situated employees are to be treated alike: HC

Excelsior Correspondent

Srinagar, May 27: High Court has quashed the Government order withdrawing the position of petitioners as In-charge Food Inspector (FIs) and directed to give same treatment to the aggrieved petitioners as has been given to other employees in the department.
The aggrieved-employees challenged the Government Order No.51- HUD of 2016 dated 25.02.2016, whereby the Government Order No.273-HUD of 2006 dated 16.10.2006, by virtue of which the petitioners along-with other employee in the department were placed as In-charge Food Inspectors in their own pay and grade was rescinded.
The petitioners have also sought a direction upon the respondent-department to promote them to the post of Executive Officer from 22.03.2012, when the similarly situated employee was placed as In-charge Executive Officer in his own pay and grade and further to confirm them against the said post in the same manner the beneficiary-employee was confirmed on the post vide Government Order No.183-HUD of 2012 dated 19.09.2012.
Justice Rajnesh Oswal quashed the Government order NO. 51-HUD of 2016 and directed the Commissioner Secretary HUD to provide the same treatment to the petitioner-employees as provided to the similarly situated employee.
Commissioner Secretary has also been directed to place and confirm them as Executive Officers from the date the similarly situated employee was so placed and confirmed. “The placement of the petitioners shall be on notional basis, however, they shall be entitled to monetary benefits prospectively and their retrospective placement and confirmation as Executive Officers shall only entitle them to post retiral benefits”, Court directed.
The court while passing these directions said the authorities have not been able to demonstrate as to how the case of the petitioners is different vis-à-vis similarly situated employee and once the Division Bench has confirmed his eligibility pursuant to SRO 132 of 2008, the authorities cannot dispute the eligibility of the petitioners.
Court said the case of the petitioners is identical to the case of similarly situated employee and not only is the order dated 25.02.2016 in utter disregard of the order dated 08.06.2011 passed by this Court but also is in the teeth of the order dated 01.11.2011 passed by the Division Bench.
“It is evident that the order dated 25.02.2016 issued by the Commissioner Secretary is, in fact, an attempt to reopen the controversy that was settled earlier by the Division Bench. The Commissioner Secretary was expected to provide the same treatment to the petitioners as provided to the other employee”, court recorded.