|Early Times Report|
Jammu, Sept 17: Justice Ali Mohammad Magrey today dismissed a petition filed by Itrat Hussain Rafiqi and others, appointed to the Kashmir Administrative Service in 2005 and 2008 respectively challenging SRO 198 of 2018 regarding Non-Functional (Monetary) Scheme (NFS) for KAS.
In the petition, they said that the final seniority list of officers of the J&K Administrative Service was notified on 24 June 2011 and the order became the subject matter of the petitions which are sub-judice in Court. On account of the pendency of these petitions and the orders passed by the Court, the officers could not be placed in the seniority scale. They said government took a policy decision and notified the Non-functional (Monetary) Scheme. By notifying the effective date of application of the scheme from 1 January this year, they said, the government has lost sight of the fact that the petitioners have suffered on account of the dispute with regard to their seniority.
Justice Ali Mohammad Magrey after hearing Sr. Adv Jehangir Iqbal Ganai for the petitioners whereas Advocate General DC Raian for the State observed that Government of Jammu and Kashmir, vide SRO 215 of 2018 dated 18th of May, 2018, notified a similar scheme, namely, the Non-Functional Monetary Scheme (NFS) in respect of the General Executive Cadre of the Jammu and Kashmir Police (Gazetted) Service which is being followed in the State in its letter and spirit. These decisions are based on the proposition that the Jammu and Kashmir Administrative Service Rules, 2008, do not prescribe any qualifying service for promotion to the Selection Grade, Special Scale and Super time Scale, but are only linked with the availability of the vacancies in these scales.
Justice Ali Mohammad Magrey further observed that the contention of the petitioners as regards the fixing of the cut-off date, what has to be noted is that not only in matters of extending monetary benefits to the employees, but even in respect of revision of scales of pay, a cut-off date on some rational or reasonable basis, has to be fixed for extending the benefits.
In the case on hand, the Government of Jammu and Kashmir, after examining the matter from all angles and having regard to the various considerations viz., financial, administrative, etc., notified its policy decision vide SRO 198 dated 25th of April, 2018, to be operative from 1st of January, 2018, which can, in no way, be termed as arbitrary or based on any malafide consideration.
With these observations High Court is of the considered opinion that the challenge thrown to the policy decision of the Government, as notified vide SRO 198 of 2018 dated 25th of April, 2018, herein this petition, is untenable and, as such, liable to be rejected. Consequently, the petition of the petitioners is dismissed. Interim directions, if any, in force as on date, shall stand vacated.