HC dismisses appeal for compulsory retirement

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High Court today dismissed the appeal for compulsory retirement and upheld the judgment of writ court.

Division Bench of State High Court Comprising Chief Justice Badar Durrez Ahmed and Justice Sanjeev Kumar dismissed one more LPA of State in Compulsory retirement and upheld the judgment of Writ Court. In the LPA filed by State of J&K against the judgment of Writ Court whereby Writ Court quashed the premature retirement of Girdawar Kuldeep Kumar.

Division Bench after hearing both the sides observed that came to be appointed as Patwari in the revenue department of the State Government. Vide order No.01 (GQ) of 2005 dated 02-04-2005; he was promoted as Girdawar in the year 2009. It is this post, which the respondent was holding when he came to be retired compulsorily in terms of the provisions of Regulation 226(2) of the Jammu & Kashmir Civil Services Regulations, 1956.

It may be noted that in the year 2003, when the respondent was working as Patwari, an FIR being FIR No.21/2003 came to be registered by the Vigilance Organization, Jammu, which, upon investigation culminated into presentation of challan before the Court of competent jurisdiction. The appellants by taking note of the aforesaid FIR, decided to compulsory retire the respondent by invoking powers conferred under Regulation 226(2) of Jammu & Kashmir Civil Services Regulations and accordingly, the impugned order was passed.

It is this order, which was called in question by the respondent in SWP No.570/2005, which came to be allowed by the learned Single Judge in the judgment impugned in this appeal. Division Bench further observed that after perusal of the minutes of the meeting of the Committee, which recommended compulsory retirement of the respondent, it is abundantly clear that decision to compulsorily retire the respondent was taken only in view of the registration of FIR No.21/20003 by the Vigilance Organization, Jammu.

Apart from the aforesaid material viz. FIR, no other record was either placed before the Committee or the Competent Authority nor was the same considered. As a matter of fact, the Committee has stated that it was reported by the department that ACRs of the respondents were not available. There is, however, a two-line statement in the minutes of the meeting of the Committee, upon which much stress was laid by the learned counsel for the appellants.

The two-line statement reads thus:-“As per information gathered from a cross section of the people, the reputation of the official is very bad.” Division Bench further observed that the record and find similar statements in the cases of all employees, who were recommended by the Committee and were ultimately compulsorily retired.

There is no material available with the Committee or before the competent authority to come to such a conclusion nor is there any indication in the minutes of the meeting of the Committee as to how the Committee arrived at the aforesaid opinion.  Information gathered from the so called cross section of the people also does not form part of the record, which was placed before the Committee. With these observations Division Bench dismissed the appeal.

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