State of Jammu and
Kashmir Vs. Vinod Kumar Verma and Another
Jurisdiction Special Leave Petition (C) Nos. 6614-6615 of 2011]
J U D G M E N T
P. Sathasivam, J.
SLPs are directed against the common final judgment and order dated 08.12.2010
passed by the Division Bench of the High Court of Jammu and Kashmir at Jammu in
LPAC No. 23 of 2010 whereby the Division Bench dismissed the same as not
a. Vinod Kumar Verma-Respondent
No. 1 herein was appointed as Sectional Officer (Civil) in the Public Works Department
(PWD) of the State of Jammu and Kashmir on ad hoc basis on 10.08.1981 and he joined
the said post on 11.08.1981. On 17.08.1981, Respondent No. 1 herein was further
adjusted as Sectional Officer (Civil) on ad hoc basis in the Power Development
Department (PDD), Civil Construction Circle, Jammu and subsequently he was adjusted
in Seva Hydel Project, an establishment of PDD. The service of the Respondent No.
1 herein was regularized by the State Government vide Government Order No. PW-670
of 1981 dated 31.10.1981 and he was adjusted in the Power Development
Department (PDD) figuring at Serial No. 92 of the said Order. In the similar
manner, Shiv Dev Singh Jasrotia-Respondent No. 2 herein was also appointed as Sectional
Officer (Civil) in the Power Development Department (PDD) on 02.12.1982 and he
was also adjusted in Seva Hydel Project.
b. In the year 1985, the
Respondent No. 1 was transferred from Power Development Department (PDD) to Public
Health Engineering (PHE) as both these Departments were falling under the
Hydraulic Wing and constitute the same cadre and service as the persons from
one service could be transferred to the other. Similarly, the persons working in
PDD and Hydraulic Wing constitute one service under the PWD and were having the
same seniority and the posts were interchangeable from one service to the other
which continued till the year 1992. In the same manner, the Respondent No. 2 was
posted as Junior Engineer from PDD to Irrigation Department, R&B Circle, Leh
as a part of his frontier service which is compulsory for every employee in his
c. On 10.03.1989, a combined
tentative Seniority List of Sectional Officers of PDD and Hydraulic Wing was issued
by the PDD in which all the SOs/JEs were included and most of the similarly situated
Junior Engineers have been shown senior to Respondent Nos. 1 and 2. On
16.07.1992, sanction was accorded by the Government of Jammu and Kashmir for setting
up of a separate Civil and Mechanical Cadre of the PDD. Vide Government Order dated
09.12.1992, a separate seniority list of Junior Engineers of PDD was issued
ignoring the fact that the Respondents herein were still holding their lien on
the post in their parental department i.e. PDD.
d. Being aggrieved of
the same, the respondents herein filed Writ Petition being SWP No. 1528 of 2001
for inclusion of their names in the final seniority list of SOs/JEs (Civil) in
the Power Development Department which was issued in the year 1992. During the pendency
of the said writ petition, the Division Bench of the same High Court had passed
final order dated 14.10.2004 in SWP No. 2191/2002 titled Ashok Kumar Raina vs. State
through PDD & Ors and in LPA (SW) 73 of 2003 and LPA (SW) 210 of 2003 filed
by the already promoted Junior Engineers wherein it was directed to include the
petitioner therein in the Seniority List of Junior Engineers (Civil) PDD issued
on 09.12.1992 and in all subsequent lists with all consequential relief of
e. On 14.11.2007, the
High Court passed an order in SWP 1528 of 2001 directing the respondents therein
to accord consideration to the cases of the respondents herein in the light of the
judgment dated 14.10.2004, namely, Ashok Kumar Raina (supra). The respondents herein
made representation but despite the same the respondents therein failed to implement
the said judgment and their claim has 4been rejected on the ground that the cadre
of JEs (Civil) in PDD has been closed since 24.09.2007.
f. Being aggrieved, respondents
herein filed Contempt Petition bearing No. 112 of 2009 in SWP No. 1528 of 2001
for non-compliance of order dated 14.11.2007. By order dated 05.02.2010, the
High Court granted last and final opportunity to the State to reply compliance
of the order dated 14.11.2007. On 29.04.2010, the State filed a Compliance Report
rejecting the consideration of the respondents herein. By order dated 20.05.2010,
the High Court, after observing that the Compliance Report filed by the State
is not in consonance with the directions issued earlier, directed to file a better
affidavit/Compliance Report by showing the names of the respondents herein in
the Seniority List.
g. Against the order dated
20.05.2010, the State filed APLPA No. 22 of 2010 before the High Court. Vide
order dated 18.10.2010, the High Court dismissed the said appeal. The State again
filed an appeal being APLPA No. 23 of 2010 challenging the said order. The Division
Bench of the High Court, by order dated 08.12.2010, dismissed the appeal as not
h. Aggrieved by the said
decision, the State has filed these SLPs.
Mr. Gaurav Pachnanda, learned Senior Addl. Advocate General and Ms. Indu Malhotra,
learned senior counsel for the respondents.
learned Senior Addl. Advocate General appearing for the State as well as the contesting
respondents advanced arguments about the maintainability of the appeal against
the order passed under Section 19(1) of the Contempt of Courts Act, 1971 in
view of the fact that the main contempt petition itself is pending on the file
of the learned single Judge of the High Court, reserving the legal question about
the maintainability of appeal to be considered in an appropriate case, we feel
that the ends of justice would be met by asking the High Court to dispose of the
main contempt petition.
Hence, we request the
learned single Judge to dispose of the main contempt petition being Contempt Petition
No. 112 of 2009 in SWP No. 1528 of 2001 one way or the other on merits, after affording
opportunity to all the parties concerned preferably before 30.04.2012.
is made clear that we have not expressed anything on the merits of the claim of
both the parties.
the above direction, the SLPs are disposed of.