Lecturers on academic arrangement: High Court orders status quo

The High Court Saturday directed the government not to disturb the present status of 93 lecturers working on academic arrangement in various government degree colleges till their plea is considered by a vacation bench of the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT), Jammu.

Transferring two separate writ petitions filed by these lecturers to CAT bench Jammu, a bench of Justice Ali Muhammad Magrey directed that the petitions be listed before the tribunal on January 6.

The court also directed the government to pay legitimately-earned wages to the petitioners in accordance with the rules governing the field.

The direction came after lawyer G N Shaheen, on behalf of the petitioners, submitted before the court that CAT bench was not presently available due to vacations and the petitioners cause would be prejudiced.

He said the petitions would become infructuous in the event the petitioners are kept waiting till the CAT bench Jammu opens on January 6.

The court observed that the submission of the counsel representing the petitioners had a substance as similarly situated petitioners working on academic arrangement were protected when their cases were transferred to CAT bench, Jammu.

“As such, in the peculiar facts and the circumstances of the case, the writ petition shall stand transferred to CAT bench, Jammu and be listed before the vacation bench on January 6,” the court said.

In two separate petitions, 54 and 39 lectures had approached the court seeking directions for not disturbing their present status.