High Court Upholds Open Category Seniority List

SRINAGAR: Rejecting the appeals by reserved category engineers that they have first right for promotion to next grade, Jammu and Kashmir High Court said that appointment to the post of Chief Engineer is to be made by selection of meritorious candidate from the feeding class of service.

The reserved category engineers had challenged the single bench order in which directions had been issued to government that the general category engineers shall be treated senior to reserved category candidates (engineers).

The single bench in its judgement on September 10, 2007, on a petition filed by general category engineers that they should be treated as senior than reserved category candidates, directed the state government that for regularisation as Executive Engineer, Superintending Engineer or promotion to the post of Chief Engineer on in-charge basis, the petitioners should be treated senior to the private respondents ( reserved category).

However, the reserved category candidates challenged the judgement in the High Court Division Bench.

Upholding the single bench order, the Division Bench said the general category engineers have to be treated senior to the reserved category in class of Executive Engineers and their claim for other promotions is to be considered by treating them senior to the reserved category and are to be considered for further promotions, even though made on in-charge or temporary basis.

Justice, while rejecting the appeals preferred by the State of Jammu and Kashmir and the reserved category candidates against a Single Bench order, held the appointment by way of selection to the post of Chief Engineer from amongst the eligible candidates is in the discretion of the competent authority.

The general category and reserved category are members of J&K Engineering Gazetted Service who were appointed by way of promotion on the posts of Assistant Executive Engineers in 1987 and 1992-93 respectively.

However, the reserved category engineers were temporarily promoted to the post of Executive Engineer in 2001, while the general category engineers were temporarily promoted to the same post in 2002 and 2003.

But before engineers from both the categories could be considered for further promotions to the next higher post of Superintending Engineer, a controversy arose between them. Agencies

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