Srinagar, Nov 11: The Supreme Court of India has upheld a verdict given by Justice Hasnain Massodi of High Court of J&K on a petition of Rehbar-e-Ziraats. Earlier, the single bench judgment had been endorsed by Division Bench of High Court of J&K.
Justice Massodi in his judgment had rejected the claim of Rehbar-e-Ziraats appointed on consolidated monthly salary of Rs 400 in 1984 for reckoning their seniority from the date of their engagement, holding that “counting seniority from such date would violate mandate of Articles 14 and 16, Constitution of India.”
The single bench judgment was challenged in an appeal, which was dismissed on 15.12.2011 by division bench comprising Chief Justice Kalifullah and Justice Virendhar Singh.
The Supreme Court in its judgment has observed: “The reasons assigned by learned Single Judge and Division Bench for taking the view that the petitioners are not entitled to have their seniority fixed in the cadre of Village Extension Workers from the date of their initial engagements as Rehbar-e-Ziraats do not suffer from any infirmity and the judgment under challenge does not call for interference”.
This has settled the long controversy in Agriculture Production Department over date of reckoning seniority of Agriculture Gazetted officers and paved way for J&K State Public Service Commission to consider the promotions of Agriculture Officers.
The Supreme Court judgment has also rendered the Order 279 Agri of 2008 dated 07.10.2008 under scrutiny without any legal basis.
To mention, the issuance of controversial order dated 07.10.2008, had created so much of confusion among the J&K Agriculture Gazetted Services that government had to put the order in abeyance.