JAMMU, Mar 28: In a significant judgment, Division Bench of State High Court comprising Chief Justice F M Ibrahim Kalifulla and Justice Virender Singh today held that tenure employee cannot claim the service benefits of permanent employee of university vis-à-vis retirement age.
The judgment was passed in an appeal filed by Onkar Singh Sudan. The appellant, who was serving as Principal, Government Degree College Kathua, was appointed as Director Colleges Development Council on November 26, 2001 on probation for a period of two years from the date of his joining.
On the very next day, the order of appointment was kept in abeyance pending further orders by the University of Jammu. However, on December 7, 2001, University issued another order appointing the appellant against a tenure post of 5 years as Director Colleges Development Council initially on probation for a period of two years. It was also stated that his appointment would be governed by the provisions of Jammu and Kashmir Universities Act, 1969 and the statues/regulations made there under.
The University Council in its meeting held on June 21, 2004 considered the confirmation of the appellant as Director Colleges Development Council with effect from December 10, 2003. By order dated January 9, 2007, the respondents, based on the observation of the Chancellor University of Jammu, extended the tenure of the appellant with effect from December 10, 2001 till he attains the age of superannuation as per the State Government norms.
For the period of extended tenure, the appellant was to function as Project Director for the upcoming Mini Campus of University at Poonch apart from looking after his duties as Director DDE pending further orders. By circular dated May 28, 2007, it was notified by the respondents that the appellant would get superannuated from the State Government Services on July 31, 2007 as per the records available with the Registry.
After hearing Senior Advocate Z A Shah assisted by Advocate Vipin Gandotra for the appellant whereas Senior Advocate D S Thakur with Advocates A Thakur and Karan Deep Singh for University and AAG Jagdish Parihar for the Higher Education Department, the Division Bench didn’t find any scope to hold that the appellant’s services in the University pursuant to his tenure appointment resulting in he becomingf a permanent employee of the University on regular basis.
“Further claim of the appellant that he was entitled to be continued in services up to the age of 60 years is not maintainable”, the DB said, adding “the order of Single Judge does not call for interference”.