Srinagar, July 21: The High Court of J&K and Ladakh has asked the government to inform it about the steps taken to fill up the vacancies of Medical Officers as well as non gazetted and class IV employees in Jammu as well as Kashmir Division.
A division bench of Chief Justice N Kotiswar Singh and Justice M A Chowdhary issued the direction while perusing the status report filed by the government in response to a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) pending before Jammu wing.
The Court said the Status Report filed by the Deputy Secretary to Government, Health and Medical Education Department, dated 29th May 2023 indicated the comparative staff strength in the posts of Medical Officers and non – gazetted and Class IV Employees in Jammu Division as well as in Kashmir Division.
In respect of the Jammu Division the report divulges that the total sanctioned strength of Medical Officers for all districts is 1390 posts of which 726 posts are in position and remaining 664 posts are lying vacant. Similarly, in respect of non-gazetted and Class IV Employees in Jammu Division out of sanctioned strength 6868, as many as 4379 are filled up with the remaining 2489 vacant.
The report further indicated that in respect of Kashmir Division total sanctioned strength of Medical Officers is 1467, out of which 1395 are in position and only 72 are lying vacant. Similarly, in case of non-gazetted and Class IV Employees in Kashmir Division, out of sanctioned strength of 8628 posts, 5976 are in position and 2651 are lying vacant.
“Thus, it indicates a skewed figure in respect of Jammu Division vis-a-viz Kashmir Division” the court said. “Under these circumstances, we direct the respondent authorities to indicate the steps taken to fill up the large number of vacancies in respect of Medical Officers as well as the non-gazetted and Class IV Employees in Jammu Division as well as the Kashmir Division,” the Bench said, adding,“ Let the same be placed on record by way of an affidavit”.
The affidavit shall also indicate the steps taken in respect of far flung areas of Districts of Reasi, Poonch, Ramban, Kupwara, Baramulla, etc ,where the vacancies appear to be quite significant,” it said. The Court also asked Vishal Sharma, Deputy Solicitor General of India, to furnish necessary information with regard to the health care position in respect of the Union Territory of Ladakh without fail on the next date.
The court fixed August 28 as the next date of the hearing of the PIL.