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news details
Appointment to post of Secy JKAACL
SC upholds judgment of DB of JKHC quashing selection process
8/11/2020 11:10:16 PM

JAMMU, Aug 11: In a significant order, a Bench of Supreme Court of India comprising Justice Indu Malhotra and Justice Ajay Rastogi has dismissed the Special Leave Petition (SLP) filed by the Government of Jammu and Kashmir (Department of Culture) against the judgment dated October 22, 2019 passed by the Division Bench of J&K High Court in LPA No.131/2019 titled Dr Arvinder Singh Amn V/s State of J&K and ors whereby a Division Bench of the J&K High Court comprising First Puisne Judge Justice Rajesh Bindal and Justice Rashid Ali Dar (since retired) had set aside the judgment of the Single Judge and had allowed the writ petition by quashing the advertisement for selection to the post of Secretary, J&K Academy of Art, Culture and Languages and the Division Bench had further directed that in case the process of selection is to be initiated, the qualifications, experience and other terms and conditions of service besides the process to be followed for the selection be prescribed before advertisement is issued.
While dismissing the SLP filed by the Government of Jammu and Kashmir, the Supreme Court of India after hearing Advocate Shashi Juneja and Advocate Satyajeet Kumar observed and directed that, “we see no reason to interfere with the impugned Judgment/order and accordingly, the Special Leave Petition is dismissed”.
Dr. Arvinder Singh Amn, Additional Secretary J&K Academy of Art, Culture and Languages (JKAACL) had filed a writ petition (SWP No.704/2019) wherein the petitioner sought quashing of advertisement notice No DIP/J-12968/18 dated March 01, 2019 issued by Deputy Secretary to Government of J&K, Department of Culture whereby applications were invited for the post of Secretary, JKAACL without laying down any terms and conditions of eligibility and without disclosing any criteria of selection /shortlisting by the Search Committee appointed by the General Administration Department Govt. of J&K. The petitioner had sought a direction to the Govt of J&K to formulate and prescribe the terms and conditions including eligibility conditions for filling the post of Secretary JKAACL as the existing rules are silent with regard to the eligibility conditions for the post of Secretary.
After hearing Advocate Sheikh Shakeel Ahmed appearing for the petitioner Dr Arvinder Singh Amn and Senior AAG H A Siddiqui appearing for the Govt of J&K, a Single Bench of J&K High Court on May 28, 2019 had dismissed the writ petition and upheld the selection process undertaken by the Search Committee appointed by the State Government. The Single Judge had ruled that the Secretary who is the Chief Executive Officer of the Academy is entrusted with the job of promoting Art, Culture and Languages in the State of J&K and such a person cannot be appointed only on the basis of qualification, nor on the basis of experience alone, gained in the confines of the office, whether in the Govt setup or in the Academy itself.
Against the Judgment of the Single Judge, the petitioner Dr. Arvinder Singh Amn filed a Letters Patent Appeal (LPA No.131/2019) before the Division Bench of the J&K High Court where the matter was heard extensively by a Division Bench headed by First Puisne Judge Justice Rajesh Bindal. Advocate S.S. Ahmed referred several judgments of the Apex Court and urged that the Single Judge has fallen in error and referred a judgment of the Apex Court with regard to the appointment of Class-IV category of employees in the Subordinate Courts in Delhi and submitted that appointment must be made on the touchstone of equality of opportunity enshrined in Articles 14 and 16 of the Constitution of India and any appointment made in violation of the mandate of Articles 14 and 16 of the Constitution of India is not only irregular but illegal and the same cannot be sustained. Advocate Ahmed had further submitted that the advertisement in this case was totally silent with regard to the qualification and other eligibility criteria and he also referred the Advertisement issued for appointment as Director, North Zone Cultural Center, Patiala by the Ministry of Culture, Govt. of India on January 27, 2017 which clearly prescribes qualification, salary, tenure, age and other terms and conditions for the post but in the present case the advertisement has remained silent and thus the selection process cannot sustain in the eyes of law.
The Division Bench on October 22, 2019 had set aside the judgment of the Single Judge thereby quashing the entire selection process to the post of Secretary JKAACL and against the said judgment, the Govt of Jammu and Kashmir filed SLP (C) No.3965/2020 in the Supreme Court of India where a Bench of the Apex Court comprising Justice Indu Malhotra and Justice Ajay Rastogi dismissed the SLP thereby upholding the Judgment of the Division Bench of the J&K High Court. JNF
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