‘Defiance of Direction’ | Concept of law is to minimise pain, maximise pleasure: CAT 

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Srinagar, Sep 17: The Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) has observed that the ‘concept of law is to minimise pain and maximise pleasure’.

Disposing of a contempt plea by a job aspirant, Shabir Ahmad Mir, a Bench of Member (J), M S Latif said: “The case on hand depicts a very sorry state of affairs where because of negligence of the officials, intentional or unintentional, a person is deprived of his right to livelihood guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution of India.”

After hearing petitioner’s counsel, Advocate Suhaib and J&K SSB through its counsel, the bench said, “The concept of law is to minimise pain and maximise pleasure.”

The case relates to the selection for the post of Telephone Operator, Divisional Cadre Kashmir, in the Agriculture Production Department for which advertisement notice was issued in 2011.

Referring to its earlier order, the tribunal said that the Deputy Advocate General (DAG) had appeared for the contemnors and sought four weeks' time to file compliance report.

“This tribunal, while going through the said reply (filed), would express its anguish and pain, the way the matter has been dealt with,” it said.

Earlier, the applicant Mir through his counsel had informed the tribunal that the SSB had issued Letter No 214 SSB of 2021 dated May 28, 2021, wherein it conceded that two notifications were issued for the same post.

He said that the SSB had also conceded that the case of Mir was to be considered keeping in view the fact that originally selected candidate Rohi Wangnoo had informed the office that she did not intend to join the post.

“Therefore, the name of Mir being on Wait List No 1 should have been considered,” the counsel had said.

However, the counsel had informed the tribunal that a second notification for the same post was issued on June 30, 2016, and some other candidate had been selected against the said post.

“In view of this the respondents are reconsidering the case of Mir,” he said.

In response to this submission, the tribunal had said: “In view of the fact that the administration on its own is reconsidering the candidature of the applicant, the OA is disposed of with direction to the respondents to complete the exercise within a period of four weeks from the date of receipt of a certified copy of this order,” the tribunal said. “In case, the decision is not in favour of the applicant, a reasoned and speaking order should be passed within two weeks thereafter.”

A supplementary reply filed by the  DAG now, supported by an affidavit,  signed by Under Secretary to Government, Horticulture Department indicated that the matter was examined and J&K SSB vide Letter No GAD-MTGORBIV/78/2022-09-GAD (172291) dated August 22, 2023, had been advised to cancel the entire selection process.

It said that the cancellation includes the recommendations made on the basis of second advertisement issued in 2016 by way of a speaking order immediately in view of the fact that the board had erroneously made a selection against the post of Telephone Operator, Divisional Cadre Kashmir, Horticulture Department, again in 2018, in the absence of referral of the said post from the concerned department (APD) to JKSSB for selection.

According to the reply, the department is advised to cancel the appointment of the candidate recommended by the J&K SSB on July 31, 2018, after receiving the intimation from the board relating to cancellation and withdrawal of the selection process and recommendation made on the basis of an advertisement issued in the year 2016.

The reply indicates that the department may then proceed to appoint the petitioner after following due process and also apprise the court about the administrative actions taken in the matter.

“In the above backdrop, it is expected that the respondents will comply with the direction passed by this tribunal on June 23, 2021, by doing the needful within a period of four weeks,” the tribunal said in its order now.

“However, it is left to the wisdom of the respondents whether to initiate any inquiry against the erring official or not,” it said.

Disposing of the contempt petition, the tribunal, however clarified that in the event the order was not complied with within the stipulated period, the applicant should be free to approach the tribunal for redressal of his grievances.

It listed the OA 856/2021 on October 18, 2023.

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