High Court dismisses pleas challenging repatriation of officials to J&K Cements Ltd

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The High Court has dismissed pleas challenging repatriation of some officials to J&K Cements Limited. These officials had been shifted out of the organization after it was declared as a “sick industry” due to the losses suffered by it.

A bench of Justice Ali Muhammad Magrey dismissed two separate pleas after coming to the conclusion that provisions of Article 52 of J&K Civil Service Regulations itself, in no uncertain terms emphasize that the reversion of a “deputationist” can be done at any stage and he has no vested right to remain on the cadre of the department where he was deputed.

Citing various Supreme Court judgments, the Court said the law on the subject of repatriation of deputationists was no more “res integra”.

The petitioners were aggrieved of communications addressed by Managing Director (MD) J&K Cements Limited to Principal, Government Medical College, Baramulla; Director, Geology & Mining Department and Director, Handloom Development Department. The communications sought to repatriate the staff of the organization immediately so that the plants of J&K Cements Ltd situated at Khrew in Pulwama and Samba in Jammu would be operated again.

The petitioners through their counsels contended before the Court that MD J&K Cements had no power and authority to seek their repatriation as well as of other staff.

They submitted that in terms of J&K Civil Service Regulations-1956, the deputation of government servants to a non-governmental organization including corporations, companies and autonomous bodies within or outside the state or the central government or other government departments were to be decided by the concerned administrative department in consultation with General Administration Department.

They contended that the communication was the outcome of total non-application of mind on part of the MD as he had no power and authority to seek repatriation of the petitioners and other deputed staff.

The government however said the basic principle underlying deputation itself was that the person concerned can always and, at any time, be repatriated to parent department to serve in his substantive position at the instance of either of the departments.

The MD had sought repatriation of the employees following the decision of Board of Directors of J&K Cements Limited, in its 103rd meeting on July 30 year under the chairmanship of Advisor to the Lt. Governor, deciding to revive both the plants of Jammu & Kashmir Cements Limited.