Rashid Paul

HC asks govt to consider deserving Class-IV forest dept employees for promotion

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Srinagar, Jul 21: The High Court today directed the State government to consider the case of hundreds of Class-IV employees of the Forest department for promotion against the post of forest guards under recruitment rules within two months.

Justice Ali Mohammad Magrey, directed the State government to “consider the case of the employees for promotion against the posts of forest guards along with other eligible employees in tune with the mandate of the relevant recruitment rules”.

The court directed “the consideration shall be affected and decision taken within a period of two months from the date certified copy of the order is served upon the respondents.”

The petitioners claimed to be working in the Forest Department as Class-IV employees under the designations like orderlies, chowkidars and farashs since 1999.

The counsel appearing for petitioners, submitted before the court that in terms of the “J&K Forest Sub-ordinate Service Recruitment Rules” the petitioners are entitled for consideration of promotion against the next higher post of forest guards.

He said that in terms of the rules, the post of Forest Guard is to be filled up with 50 percent by direct recruitment and 50 percent by promotion.

He further submitted that the petitioners have been denied their right to promotion by the government in violation of the constitution and the rules guiding the services in government sector.

The petition said that in terms of applicable laws, the government of J&K has already put in motion a scheme for regulating the service of its employees for the purpose of regulating their pending seniority, promotion, etc.

This scheme lays down constitution of Departmental Promotion Committees from time to time, whose role is very well defined and they are not just constituted for counting purpose, it said.

It added that the authorities were, otherwise, required to perform their constitutional duties with reference to the mandate as constituted in terms of service conditions.

It appears that no effective steps have been taken by the government of Jammu & Kashmir to ensure implementation of directions/ guidelines by the Supreme Court of India to prevent litigations by government employees in the matters of their service, the lawyer representing the petitioners said.

Besides, the court cannot lose sight of the casual approach adopted by the government authorities in redressing the grievances of its employees working under their control, he added.

All the departmental authorities, through the Chief Secretary be directed to ensure the claims of its employees with reference to fixation of seniority, promotion, regulating the transfer and postings, release of post-retiral benefits, etc., and settled the matter without  litigation, he pleaded.

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