Srinagar, Aug 25: The High Court Wednesday held that a government employee has no vested right to remain on the cadre of the department where he is deputed.
Dismissing a petition by some employees of Jammu and Kashmir Industries Limited (JKI Limited) against a government order directing their repatriation to the parent department, a bench of Justice Ali Muhammad Magrey said: “Reversion of a ‘deputationist’ can be at any stage, either by the lending or the borrowing department.”
The court said that a deputationist has no vested right to remain on the cadre of the department where deputed.
In their plea, the aggrieved officials submitted that they were employed in the JKI Limited on various posts and rose to their respective levels by dint of their hard work.
They pleaded that their dreams were shattered when the JKI Limited, once a profit-making organisation and premier in the field industries suffered losses and was declared a ‘sick industry’.
Accordingly, the petitioners said, the list of surplus staff was furnished to J&K’s General Administration Department (GAD) with the request that the same be deployed in other government departments so that the expenditure on account of monthly establishment and salary cost may be reduced.
The petitioners said that the GAD took up the matter with the Industries and Commerce Department and after obtaining the requisite ‘No Objection’ from them, they were deployed in various government departments.
They submitted that the government vide an order dated 22 March 2021 repatriated them to their parent organisation.
They challenged the order before the court.
After hearing the parties, the court held what was required to be seen in terms of the applicable laws governing the subject was whether the decision taken by the government seeking repatriation of the petitioners to their parent department from the departments where they had been deputed was “illegal” or “unwarranted”.
“The moot question can be answered by the application of the provisions of Article 52 of the Jammu and Kashmir Civil Service Regulations, 1956, itself, which, in no uncertain terms, emphasises that the reversion of a ‘deputationist’ can be at any stage, either by the lending or the borrowing department and that a ‘deputationist’ has no vested right to remain on the cadre of the department where deputed,” the court said.
It said that there was nothing wrong in repatriation of the petitioners on the cadre posts of their parent department which they were holding in substantive position.
Apart from the Civil Service Regulations, the court said that the law on the subject of repatriation of ‘deputationists’ was no more “res integra”.
The court said that the Supreme Court while dealing with a similar issue had held that the “basic principle underlying deputation itself is that the person concerned can always and at any time be repatriated to his parent department. There is no vested right in such a person to continue for long on deputation or get absorbed in the department to which he had gone on deputation.”