IMTIOMEN Vs. STATE OF NAGALAND & ORS.
LAWS(GAU)-2018-8-139
HIGH COURT OF GAUHATI (AT: KOHIMA)
Decided on August 10,2018

Imtiomen Appellant
VERSUS
STATE OF NAGALAND And ORS. Respondents

JUDGEMENT

L.S.JAMIR,J. - (1.) The petitioner is the land owner over which the Veterinary Dispensary/Veterinary Outpost at Molungkimong is located under Mokokchung District. The said Dispensary/Veterinary Outpost (VOP) was established in the year 1979 with the condition that petty contract works and appointment to Grade-IV post that may arise in the said Veterinary Dispensary/VOP at Molungkimong Village shall be given to the land owner. In terms of the agreement, construction work of office building of Veterinary Dispensary/VOP at Molungkimong was awarded to the land owner. Further, when a Grade-IV post of Chowkidar arose, the father of the petitioner nominated and recommended one Shri Lanutemjen for appointment and was accordingly appointed to the post of Chowkidar in the year 1980 who is still serving in the Department. Another Grade-IV post of Medicine Carrier arose in the year 1980 and one Shri Imkonglemba was appointed to the said post on the nomination/recommendation of the father of the petitioner. The said appointments as well as the construction works undertaken for the office building by the land owners were done in terms of the verbal agreement entered between the Department and the land owner. The said Shri Imkonglemba who was appointed as Medicine Carrier under the Veterinary Dispensary/VOP in the year 1980 was to retire with effect from 30.04.2015 and therefore, the petitioner as a land owner submitted an application for appointment to the said post of Medicine Carrier at Veterinary Dispensary/VOP Molungkimong on 25.2.2015. A certificate was also issued by the Village Council of Molungkimong Village on 25.02.2015 certifying that the petitioner is the son of Shri Lidemnuken who is the land owner over which the Veterinary Dispensary/VOP at Molungkimong Village is located. A recommendation was also made by the Parliamentary Secretary, Agriculture and Chairman NSAMB, Nagaland on 25.02.2015 recommending the case of the petitioner for appointment on the basis of land ownership. However, the Government by letter dated 17.7.2015 approved the case of the respondent No.5 who was serving as Medicine Carrier on contingency basis at VHC Chuchuyimlang under CVO Mokokchung for regularization against the retirement vacancy of the said Shri Imkonglemba. By the same approval letter dated 17.7.2015, the case of the petitioner was also approved for appointment as Medicine Carrier on contingency basis at VHC, Chuchuyimlang and temporarily attached at VOP, Molungkimong. The said approval letter was issued on the approval of the Parliamentary Secretary, Veterinary and Animal Husbandry dated 16.7.2015. In terms of the approval letter dated 17.7.2015, the respondents issued an order dated 21.7.2015 regularizing the respondent No. 5 to the post of Medicine Carrier at VOP, Molungkimong and temporarily attached at VHC, Chuchuy-imlang. By another order dated 21.7.2015, the petitioner was also appointed as Medicine Carrier on contingency basis at VHC, Chuchuyimlang and attached at VOP, Molungkimong. The present writ petition has been filed claiming that the petitioner should have been appointed as Medicine Carrier at Molungkimong on the basis of land ownership and not at Chuchuyimlang. Heard Mr. C.T. Jamir, learned senior counsel assisted by Mr. Yalemsen, learned counsel for the petitioner. Also heard Mr. T.B. Jamir, learned Senior Additional Advocate General, Nagaland appearing for the State respondents as well as Mr. Taka Masa, learned senior counsel assisted by Mr. Arenlong, learned counsel appearing for the respondent No.5.
(2.) Mr. C.T. Jamir, learned senior counsel for the petitioner submits that when the land over which the Veterinary Dispensary/VOP was donated to the Department of Veterinary and Animal Husbandry for setting up the same, no compensation was taken by the father of the petitioner who was the land owner and instead, a verbal agreement was made that the contract works and Grade-IV appointment would be made to the land owner. Therefore, when the post of Medicine Carrier at Veterinary Dispensary/VOP Molungkimong became vacant with effect from 30.4.2015, the State respondents should have appointed the petitioner to the vacant post of Medicine Carrier at Veterinary Dispensary/VOP, Molungkimong on the basis of his application dated 25.02.2015. Instead, by the approval letter dated 17.07.2015, the case of the petitioner was approved for appointment as Medicine Carrier on contingency basis at VHC, Chuchuyimlang and temporarily attached at Veterinary Dispensary/VOP, Molungkimong. By the same approval letter, the respondent No.5 who was serving as Medicine Carrier at VHC, Chuchuyimlang was approved for regularization against the retirement vacancy of the said Shri Imkonglemba at Veterinary Dispensary/VOP, Molungkimong. It is submitted that the respondents could not have acted in terms of the approval letter dated 17.07.2015 inasmuch as, the petitioner has a right to claim for appointment on land ownership basis at Veterinary Dispensary/VOP, Molungkimong only in terms of the verbal agreement made in the year 1979. The right of the petitioner to claim for appointment on land ownership basis exists only at the Veterinary Dispensary/VOP, Molungkimong and not at VHC, Chuchuyimlang inasmuch as, the land was donated by the father of the petitioner at Molungkimong and not at Chuchuyimlang. Therefore, in terms of the approval letter dated 17.07.2015, the petitioner has been deprived to have been regularly appointed as Medicine Carrier at Veterinary Dispensary/VOP, Molungkimong. It is also submitted that the approval letter 17.07.2015 was issued on the approval of the Parliamentary Secretary, Veterinary and Animal Husbandry which is not in terms of the provision of the Rules of Executive Business. He submits that there are no specific statutory rules in the Department of Veterinary and Animal Husbandry and therefore, even if the Rules of Executive Business is not mandatory but only directory, the respondents should have adhered to the provision of the Rules of Executive Business wherein, there is no provision for the Parliamentary Secretary to give any approval. He also submits that in the meantime, the Government of Nagaland, Land Revenue Department issued a Notification dated 5.3.2018 notifying the policy with regard to appointment to Grade-IV post under the Government of Nagaland on land ownership basis. In the said Notification, Clause 3 (b) does not bar appointment on the basis of land ownership basis even if such agreements are verbally/orally made. He also submits that the Notification dated 5.3.2018 pertains to only lands donated for setting up of Administrative and Block Headquarters and therefore, as the present case pertains to the setting up of Veterinary Dispensary/VOP at Molungkimong, the Notification dated 5.3.2018 would have no application. The very action of the respondents in appointing the petitioner on contingency basis at VHC, Chuchuyimlang and ordering to be attached at Veterinary Dispensary/VOP, Molungkimong by the order dated 21.07.2015 would clearly indicate that the petitioner is the land owner of Veterinary Dispensary/VOP at Molungkimong. As the petitioner is the rightful land owner over which the Veterinary Dispensary/VOP is located at Molungkimong, the regularization order dated 21.07.2015 issued in favour of the respondent No.5 should be set aside and quashed and a direction be issued to the respondents to appoint the petitioner as Medicine Carrier at Veterinary Dispensary/VOP, Molungkimong.
(3.) Mr. T.B. Jamir, learned Senior Additional Advocate General, Nagaland on the other hand, submits that the land owners over which the Veterinary Dispensary/VOP, Molungkimong is located has been adequately compensated inasmuch as, 2 (two) Grade-IV posts have already been given to the land owner as well as contract work was awarded to the land owners for construction of the office building of the Dispensary, Molungkimong. Therefore, the petitioner cannot claim for appointment on the basis of land ownership in perpetuity. It is submitted that the respondent No.5 was the lone Medicine Carrier and therefore, considering her long service, she was regularized to the vacant post that arose at Molungkimong and was thereafter, temporarily attached at VHC, Chuchuyimlang. The petitioner is therefore, not an aggrieved person inasmuch as, the land owner has been duly compensated. He also submits that the Notification dated 5.03.2018 provides that employment of land owner, if permitted by a verifiable and valid agreement, is limited to the person first appointed as land owner in Government service and does not entitle his descendants for further employment on his retirement from service inasmuch as, it is not the policy of the Government to provide employment to the land owner in perpetuity. He therefore, submits that in terms of the new policy of the Government of Nagaland as notified in the Notification dated 05.03.2018, the petitioner has no right to claim for appointment on the basis of land ownership.;


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