J&K : No promotion without finalizing tentative seniority list, says HC

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In a petition filed by Nitin Verma and others, High Court has directed that there shall be no promotion to the posts of Assistant Engineers) substantive or temporary in the Power Development Department without finalization of tentative seniority list issued vide Circular No.1-PDD dated January 12, 2018.

When the petition came up for hearing, Advocate Rajesh Bhushan appearing for the petitioners submitted that pursuant to the Advertisement Notice No. 04 of 2004 dated 23.09.2004, the petitioners applied for the post of Junior Engineer in Power Development Department (PDD).

As the petitioners were fully eligible, they were selected and appointed as Junior Engineers (Electrical) in year 2007. Although the petitioners were entitled to be placed in the seniority list of Degree Holder Junior Engineers yet their names were reflected in the seniority list of Junior Engineers (Electric), Diploma Holders.

Therefore,  petitioners approached the respondents by way of representations from time to time for inclusion of their names in the Seniority List of Degree Holder Junior Engineers.  A tentative seniority list of both Degree Holder Junior Engineers as well as Diploma Holder Junior Engineers was prepared in the year 2016 vide Circular No. 06 of 2016 dated 04.04.2016 and objections were invited from all the stakeholders.

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Although the petitioners were having Engineering Degree at the time of framing of the tentative seniority list and therefore were eligible for being placed in seniority list of Degree Holders yet names of the petitioners were figuring in the tentative seniority list of Diploma Holders.

Therefore, pursuant to the direction in the Circular dated 04-04-2016, the petitioners filed the objections to the tentative seniority list and represented official respondents, other competent authorities including the Minister in charge of Power Development Department.

It was the specific prayer of the petitioners that their names be placed in the seniority list of Degree Holders. SRO 252 of 2017 was issued after considering orders and directions passed in various writ petitions including SWP No. 2162 of 2015 titled Mohd. Ayoub Bhat Vs State and Ors. and SWP No. 1839 of 2013, MP Nos. 2684/2013 & 1765/2014 titled Sunita Dhar and Ors. Vs State and Ors coupled with the scrutiny of objections and representations of the stakeholders.

Based on examination and scrutiny, which took almost 10 years, SRO -252 dated 20.06.2017 was issued by the official respondents. The SRO 252 came for the consideration and was relied upon by High Court in SWP No. 1578/2014 titled Arshid Bashir and Ors. Vs State of J&K, SWP No. 393/ 2014 & MP No. 01/2017 titled Rajeshwar Singh Jamwal Vs State and Ors. and writ petition bearing SWP No. 2718/2015 titled S.Lakhwinder Singh Vs State of J&K.
Pursuant to issuance of SRO 252 Circular No. 01 of PDD 2018 dated 12.01.2018 was issued whereby the revised tentative Seniority list of JE (E) Degree/ Diploma Holders of PDD was framed keeping in view the various decisions of the court as well as Govt Order No 188-PDD of 2011.