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HC passes strictures against Social Welfare Department for callous attitude
5/27/2022 10:50:11 PM
Early Times Report
SRINAGAR, May 27: Justice Moksha Khajuria Kazmi of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh High Court at Srinagar Wing while disposing of the petition, passed strictures against Social Welfare Department for callous attitude.
Justice Kazmi while disposing of the petition observed that before parting with the file, it is recorded herein that the present litigation is more attributable to the callous attitude of the concerned department than it being an act of the aggrieved individual, for, initially, the respondents without ascertaining the genuineness of the certificate of one Mehjabeena Akhter engaged her as Anganwari worker for the ward in question.
Later on, again without bothering themselves much to see as to who is more meritorious, and suitable candidate for the post in question, took refuge in the Deputy Commissioner's order as also in the interim order of this Court passed in SWP no. 876/2015 and engaged Roomi Akhter when it was well within their knowledge that there are candidates who are more meritorious, therefore, more suitable for the post, than Roomi.
It is because of such lackadaisical approach of the respondents that the present petitioners are entangled in litigation and that the post has remained unfilled. The present litigation and the mess created, therefore, is solely an outcome of an administrative incongruity. This kind of litigation would never come into being if a little diligence is shown by the concerned towards their duties.
According to the petition in terms of advertisement notice no. DIPK-1457 dated 17-5-2008, applications were invited from the eligible female candidates for engagement of Anganwadi Workers on honorarium basis for Anganwadi Centre in the Panch wards of ICDS Project Anantnag. The petitioners' of both the writ petitions applied for Anganwadi Centre Ward-13 along with all other eligible candidates. The selection process for the said post culminated with appointment of Mehjabeena.
The appointment was challenged by Roomi on the ground of eligibility, was cancelled for not being the resident of ward no. 13, and, accordingly, she was disengaged from services by the official respondents. Aggrieved of the cancellation of her appointment, Mehjabeena challenged the same by way of a writ petition bearing SWP No. 366/2012.The writ petition, however, came to be dismissed in terms of judgment dated 9-11-2012 and respondents were directed to proceed with the selection in accordance with the Rules. The petitioner in SWP No. 876/2015, Roomi had initially filed an application before the competent authority for cancellation of appointment of Mehjabeena and also the ward certificate issued in her favour.
Upon inquiry, the Additional Deputy Commissioner, Anantnag, found that the case needs further scrutiny at the ground level and appointed the Assistant Commissioner Revenue, Anantnag, as inquiry officer for conducting a full dressed inquiry in presence of the parties. Justice Kazmi observed that because of the pendency of the litigation, none of the candidates is actually holding the post to run the Anganwadi Centre.
The High Court disposed off the petition with the direction that the respondents shall consider the claim of both the candidates, Roomi Akhter and Tasleema Jan, in respect of their engagement as Anganwari worker for the Anganwadi Centre in question. Both the petitioners shall be associated with the consideration process by allowing them to put forward their stand effectively.
The High Court observed that the engagement of Roomi made in terms of order dated 20-6- 2017 in the circumstances cannot withstand, therefore, same is quashed and directed the respondents to issue an engagement order in favour of the candidate who emerges out to be more suitable for the post in question in reference to the merit cum suitability and of course in accordance with the applicable norms.
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