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J&K HC dismisses appeal of SSB challenging appointment of teachers

High Court has observed that approaching the court at belated stage is the normal functioning in Government Departments and dismissed the appeal of Service Selection Board challenging the appointment of various teachers on contractual basis for academic arrangement.

The writ court in December 2018 had held that there was no reason not to consider these teacher’s engagements on contractual basis, especially when the Education Department in its communication had specifically clarified that they had been working from 2006 to 2013 on contractual basis.

Aggrieved of the judgment the Services Selection Board approached the court after a delay of 167 days in preferring the appeal. The Division Bench of Justice D S Thakur and Justice Rajnesh Oswal while dismissing the application seeking condoning the delay in filing the appeal said, that the instant application transpires that the reasons for delay in filing the appeal are general in character and do not at all explain as to how and at which level the delay took place.

Court observed that while the delay in approaching the court is bound to take place in the normal functioning at the different levels of the Government hierarchy and the explanation should be one which inspires confidence that the delay was indeed, such, which could not have been avoided.

“The communication addressed to the SSB counsel does not at all refer to any communication which was addressed to the Law Department for its opinion as such the delay has not been satisfactorily explained”, DB recorded in the judgment.

The controversy involved in the appeal was as to whether these teachers were entitled to be categorized as contractual employee with a view to enable to get the benefit of advertisement notice in regard to age and there was at all any difference between a contractual employee and one engaged on academic arrangement basis.

DB while dismissing the appeal of SSB said, the SSB counsel could not satisfy the court as to how the J&K Civil Services (Special Provisions) Act, 2010 and definition of contractual appointee under its section could be disentitle them from claiming to be in-service candidate.

Court said the employee has completed on his own strength in the open merit category and to deny him the benefit as an in service candidate, in our opinion would be thus not only unjust but even contrary to the initial term of engagement of them as also the clarification issued by the GAD in 2007.

“Having considered the matter, we cannot persuade ourselves to allow either the application seeking condonation of delay or for the matter, the LPA which is also found to be without any merit and is accordingly dismissed”, DB concluded.

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