While quashing a government order appointing three superintending engineers as in-charge chief engineers in PWD, the High Court has ruled that a person to be given the charge of higher post must be eligible and stand the scrutiny of the Departmental Promotion Committee.
Referring to the government instructions regarding in-charge arrangements, Justice Muhammad Yaqoob Mir in a detailed judgment said that the competent authorities have to ensure that only such officers are appointed who satisfy all the requirements for higher appointments and stand the scrutiny of the DPC etc.
An in-charge superintendent engineer Jaffaer Hussain and another SE had expressed "grouse" on an order issued by the government on 26 October this year by virtue of which three engineers were asked to look after the charge of the post of chief engineers in PWD.
While Ghulam Qadir Bhat was asked to look after the charge of post of CE in JKSPDC against an available vacancy, Jitender Kumar Sharma was ordered to look after the charge of post of CE Chenab Valley Power Projects against an available vacancy. Mir Shahnawaz was asked to look after the charge of CE I&FC Kashmir.
Seeking quashment of the government order No.440-PW(Hyd) of 2017 dated 26.10.2017, the petitioners had claimed that they being senior to respondents should have been asked to look after the charge of the post of CEs.
They also sought directions to the government to promote them as in-charge CEs from the date their juniors have been placed as officiating chief engineers – 1 August 2017 for being the senior most SEs.
"Unless and until petitioners and respondents (two engineers posted as in-charge chief engineer) are not regularized at the level of executive engineers and then at the level of superintending engineers, they shall not be eligible to be in-charge of the higher post. A thick line of demarcation, as per Government instruction is that the person to be given the charge must be eligible," the court said.
The arrangement made in pursuance to the 26-October order, the court said, was not in consonance with CCA Rules and CSR and quashed it.
The court, however, left it open to the government to have recourse to rule 25 of CCA Rules or Regulation 85 of the CSR or any other enabling provision, rule or regulation for making stop-gap arrangements for the posts of CEs.
Referring to government instructions the court said it was wrong in principle to appoint a government servant to a higher post in his own cadre or line of promotion without observing the required formalities of clearance from DPC etc.