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J-K HC directs SKUAST to go ahead with filling up of posts

High Court has directed the Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agriculture Sciences and Technology (SKUAST) to proceed with the selection process of various posts advertised last year and conclude the selection process despite the ban by J&K Government on filling up of vacancies.
Justice Ali Mohammad Magrey hearing a writ petition filed by aggrieved candidates seeking conclusion of selection process initiated in the month of March 2019 for selection of various posts in SKUAST, directed the authorities to proceed with and conclude the selection process for the posts which have been raised in the writ petition after allowing all eligible candidates to participate in the selection process.
SKUAST vide advertisement notices dated 7.3.2019 and 26.3.2019 sought selection and appointment of Assistant Professors, Jr. Scientists, Live Stock Production Management, Veterinary Public Health and Veterinary Biochemistry. Petitioners claim to have responded to these notices and are seeking candidature of eligible candidates for these posts.
They submit that despite lapse of about nine months the selection process has not made any progress beyond screening stage, as such prejudicing the interests of the petitioners who expect their selection against the posts in question.
Court in terms of the communication issued by the Finance Department, has been informed that selection process of these posts has been put on hold by the University and the correspondence between the two has not yielded any result and Government counsel appearing for Finance Department was directed to seek instructions.
Finance Department as directed informed the court that the SKUAST was required to seek financial concurrence before advertising these posts in terms of circular dated 4.7.2019 and it had to route the proposal through Administrative Department which has not been done.
Circular of July 4 provides that no recruitment against the vacant posts shall be made by public sector undertakings, autonomous bodies and societies without the prior concurrence of the Finance Department.
Court after perusal of the report of FD said it has ordered that no recruitment against the vacant posts shall be made without prior concurrence of the said department but the University has clarified the position by communication the FD on 10.7.2019 submitting therein that the already advertised sanctioned position including the posts in question need no concurrence and the order of FD has a prospective effect.
Court added that the SKUAST is a creation of the Act of legislation and its Section 6 deals with the powers and functions of the University and authorizes it to create administrative ministerial and other staff and to appoint persons to such posts.
Court said, the funds and accounts are mainly generated from the income from fee, endowments and grants and income from properties of each University including hostel, experimental stations and farms. “…the appointment of posts in connection with the affairs of the University and it is provided that subject to provisions of the Act and the statutes made there-under appointment to post and services in connection with the affairs of the University may be made by the VC with the approval of the concerned authority”, Justice Magrey recorded.
Justice Magrey said the advertised posts are created by the Competent Authority and are required to be filled up in tune with the scheme of law and there is no scope for any concurrence to be sought from the FD on to the extent for support of funds to the University as it does not have sufficient funds to take care of the financial burdens.
Court on issuance of ban on filling up of vacant posts said the same is of prospective in nature, therefore, it does not have any bearing to the case in hand and in view of the stand taken by the SKUAST.

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