No scope for ‘deputationist’ to be appointed as GM, DyGM in RTC: HC

 J&K High Court, Srinagar
J&K High Court, SrinagarMubashir Khan/GK File

Srinagar: The High Court of J&K and Ladakh Thursday held that there was no scope for posting “deputationists” as General Manager and his deputy in the J&K Road Transport Corporation (RTC).

“Since there is no scope in the recruitment rules for the deputationist to fill the posts in question, which are to be filled up 100 percent by promotion through selection, then, in that eventuality, the policy of the corporation to bring outside employees to the corporation is bad in the eyes of law,” a bench of Chief Justice Pankaj Mithal and Justice Wasim Sadiq Nargal said setting aside the direction passed by its Single Judge regarding promotion to the post of Deputy General Manager (Maintenance) and General Manager in the corporation.

“This is in conflict with the rules in vogue and thus cannot sustain the test of law, more particularly, when Regulation 18 of the Regulations of 2013 in clear cut terms provides for relaxation of any provisions of the Regulations of 2013 to benefit the member of the corporation insofar as the recruitment, promotions, period of probation, retention in service or otherwise, qualification, age, experience, passing of examination or test and training and refresher courses,” the court said.

From the perusal of the Rules of 1986, the Division Bench said it was apparent that the post of DGM (Maintenance) was to be filled by way of selection from Class V Category A with five years of experience in Class V.

Similarly, the Division Bench said that the perusal of the Regulations of 2013 makes it apparent that the post of DGM was to be filled up by way of selection from Class VI Category A&B with a minimum of seven years experience as Traffic Manager, Works Manager, and Manager (Finance).

“Admittedly the posts of DGM and GM are to be filled up by way of selection, which means that question of seniority will act as a second fiddle while making a selection, thus, it is for an appellant - the corporation to place such an officer as it considers most suitable, eligible, qualified, and meritorious,” the court said. “Therefore, all these factors have to be taken into consideration by the competent authority and the decision entirely rests with the corporation.”

In other words, the corporation is the sole judge to decide who is the most suitable candidate for being appointed to the post, the court said.

“Thus, the learned Single Judge was not justified in holding petitioner entitled as DGM with effect from February 11, 2013, and subsequently as General Manager with effect from February 11, 2018, with all consequential benefits when both the posts can be filled 100 percent by promotion by way of selection from the feeding channel,” the court said.

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