Srinagar, Jul 30: The High Court on Friday dismissed appeals against its single bench’s judgment, upholding the selection and appointment of Sub Inspectors in J&K Police pursuant to advertisement notice on 30 December 2016.
In terms of the advertisement notice (No.Pers-A/400/2016/75303-403), the Director General of Police had invited applications for the posts of Sub Inspectors in Executive and Armed wings of the Jammu and Kashmir Police.
The final selection list was issued by the officials vide PHQ order (No.6626 of 2018) on 15 of December, 2018.
Subsequently, a number of aggrieved candidates challenged the selection list as well as the consequent appointments in a bunch of separate petitions.
The court’s single bench did not find substance in any of their contentions and dismissed their pleas on 9 August 2019, thereby upholding the selection and the appointment.
Aggrieved, they filed appeals, challenging the judgment on various grounds.
“We are of the considered opinion that there has been no gross or glaring illegality or irregularity in the process of selection of Sub Inspectors which is subject matter of these appeals,” a division bench of Chief Justice Pankaj Mithal and Justice Sanjay Dhar said while dismissing the appeals.
“It was not open to the writ petitioners (the aggrieved candidates) to challenge the selection process after having participated in the same simply because had failed to make the grade,” the court said.
The Division Bench said that the single bench has rightly observed that “estoppel by conduct would apply with full force to the case of the writ petitioners (aggrieved candidates” and they are barred from challenging the selection process in the facts and circumstances of the case.”
The Division Bench said that while it was true that the advertisement notice provided conditions of employment as prescribed under the Rules of 2015, “but the conditions of employment in the context of instant case will have reference to only those rules notified under SRO 202 which relate to nature of appointment, fixation of pay, increments, dearness allowance and other conditions of service etc. and not to the process of selection.”
Even Circular (No.09-GAD of 2016) dated 29.01.2016, the court said, makes it amply clear that in order to harmonize the service conditions of all Government employees, the SRO 202 has been made applicable to all the posts for which selection is made by J&K Service Selection Board, Departmental Recruitment Boards etc. relating to selection in Government departments.
“So, it is only with regard to service conditions that SRO 202 of 2015 has been made applicable in all kinds of selections in Government departments. The fact that the said Circular bears reference to Departmental Recruitment Boards makes it clear that the Rules of 2015 did not obliterate or extinguish the possibility of selections being made by Departmental Recruitment Boards constituted under special rules of a particular department.”
Subsequently, the court ruled that the officials have not committed any illegality or irregularity in undertaking the selection process in accordance with the J&K Police Rules. “Thus, it cannot be said that there has been any gross or glaring illegality in the process of selection.”
To the contention that the Selection Committee was to be constituted by the Director General of Police and not the Government, the court said: “Even after the delegation of power, the ultimate power always remains with the delegator and is never renounced.
The Government being the source of power, which it has delegated to Director General of Police under Rule 172, was well within its power and jurisdiction to constitute a Selection Committee and, as such, no fault can be found with the procedure adopted by the Government in this regard.” (GNS)
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