Srinagar: The High Court of J&K and Ladakh has upheld the Central Administrative Tribunal’s(CAT’s) verdict by which it had dismissed separate pleas for regularization by aggrieved paramedical staffers.
The contention of the petitioners was that they were engaged under J&K Medical and Dental Education (Appointment on Academic Arrangement Basis) Rules, 2009 for a period of one year extendable up to maximum of four years, one year at a time. By subsequent amendment made vide SRO 409 of 2013 on 19 September 2013, the academic engagement was provided extendable up to six years instead of four years.
The extension, however, was subject to good performance and conduct of the candidates or till selection or promotion was made according to the recruitment rules governing the field, whichever was earlier.
The services of the petitioners were extended from time to time on the basis of recommendations made in respect of satisfactory work discharged by them.
After having worked satisfactorily for a period of six years, the petitioners filed petitions before the High Court seeking to regularize their services. Subsequently, the petitions were transferred to CAT following government notification by virtue of which all service related matters ordered to be adjudicated upon by the tribunal.
In between, the authorities issued a notification on 26 March 2021, whereby 1444 vacant posts in the Health and Medical Education Department were advertised for selection and the posts included the posts of paramedics held by the petitioner. The petitioners also challenged the notification.
Subsequently, the CAT came to the conclusion that the petitioners were governed by the 2009 Rules, which clearly provide that the engagement of the petitioners was on academic arrangement basis for a period of one year extendable up to maximum of six years or till selection was made in accordance with the recruitment rules.
The CAT finally concluded that the authorities were well within their jurisdiction and competence to issue advertisement notification to fill up the posts held by the petitioners on a regular basis.
The CAT’s order was challenged by the petitioners before the High Court and its division bench comprising justices Sanjeev Kumar and M.A.Chowdhary concurred with the Tribunal’s verdict.
“The Recruitment to the posts held by the petitioners is required to be made as per the Recruitment Rules in-vogue, which envisages the selection to be made by the J&K SSB after issuing public notification and conducting fair and transparent selection process ensuring equal opportunity to all eligible candidates to apply and participate in the process,” the court said.
Referring to the Supreme Court’s judgment, the court said the appointments on daily wage, adhoc or contractual basis followed by their regularization into permanent appointment, is frowned upon by the Courts.