Decided on April 20,1986

J K Verma Appellant
Secretary To Government Irrigation And Flood Control Department Respondents


- (1.) M /s J.K. Verma and Hem Raj Phonsa, Asstt. Engineers in Public Works Department, have filed this petition for initiating contempt Proceedings against Secretary to Govt, Irrigation and Flood Control Department, and Secretary to Govt. Public Works Department, for disobeying the direction of this Court issued in Writ Petition No. 60 of 1972 B.M. Gandotra and Ors. Versus State of J&K and others. Their contention is that they alongwith other petitioners in the above -mentioned writ petition, were graduates in Civil engineering from the recognised institutions of India and one of them was AMIE and they were appointed as Technical assistants by the State Government on various dates beginning from 12 -7 -1967 to 5 -8 -1967, while respondents 4 to 36 in the said Writ petition were appointed as apprentice Asstt. Engineers on 20 -11 -1968 and subsequently as regular Asstt. Engineers from 30 -10 -1970 to 5 -11 -1971. Similarly, respondents 37 to 79 in the said writ petition who were Bachelors in Engineering were appointed as Asstt. Engineers on 11 -5 -1971 and were subsequently absorbed as regular Asstt. Engineers on 11 -5 -1972. They have further averred that they were not considered for promotion as Assistant Engineers though they had by that date qualified when sanction was accorded to the appointment of respondents 3 to 79 in the above -mentioned writ Petition as regular Assistant Engineers. As they were ignored from being promoted as Assistant Engineers in terms of Council Order No. 1328 -C of 1939 as amended by SRO -35 of 1961 which fixed the proportion 3:1 for appointment as Assistant Engineers by direct recruitment and by transfer respectively, they alongwith others, preferred writ petition which was accepted by this Court but even after the judgment of this court the directions were not complied by the authorities forcing them to file contempt petition No. 406/79 in this Court. Said contempt petition was disposed of by this Court on 19 -12 -1984 wherein it was reiterated with further direction to the respondents to strictly comply with the orders of this Court. It is further stated by the petitioners herein that according to the judgment of this Court B.M. Gandotra was entitled to be placed at S. No. 75 in the seniority list, R.S. Sharma at No. 79, J.K. Verma at No. 83 (of Hydraulic Wing), Rangil Singh at No. 87 (of the Hydraulic wing) of the Public Works Department, Madan Lal at No. 88, Bhag Singh at No. 92, V.K. Kohli at No. 96 and H.R. Phonsa at No. 101 in the R&B Wing of the Public Works Department. But they have wrongly been shown at S. Nos 94, 101, 117 and 119 in the Hydraulic Wings seniority list respectively and at S. Nos. 101, 105, 111 and 118 respectively of the seniority list in R&B wing of the Public Works Department. The Petitioners have further stated that a number of persons were promoted on the basis of wrong tentative seniority list ignoring their and others claim and as such they served a notice through their counsel upon the respondents on 6 -1 -1985 calling upon them to immediately implement the judgment of this Court and they be promoted retrospectively to the post on which their juniors have been promoted ignoring their claim but the respondents did not take any action on it. In the end, the petitioners have prayed for punishing the respondents in accordance with law and they be given the benefit of the judgment of this Court by placing them at their own places in the seniority list.
(2.) OBJECTIONS have been filed by the respondents stating there in that pursuant to the decision of this Court dated 18 -11 -1973, the seniority list was revised and got circulated through all the Chief Engineers and other concerned officials. The said seniority list was not challenged either by the present petitioners or anyone else and as such the same had become final. The petitioners cannot agitate the matter at such a belated stage particularly when the orders passed by the Court have since been complied with. The petitioners under the cover of the orders of this Court dated 18 -11 -1973 which stands fully complied with, by mis -representing the same want to take undue benefit from the government in the matter of promotion to the next higher rank. The seniority of the petitioners is to be taken into account on the basis of circular No. G -215/71 -Govt. dated 22 -2 -1975. The promotions have also been made strictly in accordance with the guidelines given by this Court and according to the seniority list.
(3.) I have heard learned counsel for the parties and perused the relevant record. This Court (Honble Justice Jaswant Singh, as he then was) while deciding writ petition No. 60 of 1972 -B.M. Gandotra and others Versus State and others, on 18 -11 -1973, issued the following directions : "I would allow the petition and direct the Government to adjust the seniority of the petitioners with due regard to the aforesaid council Order and the rules and such other valid order as may have been in force in the financial years 1 70 -71 and 1971 -72 when the impugned orders were made and finalise the seniority list within six months from the date of this order." Again on 19 -12 -1984, this Court in contempt petition No, 406 of 1979 - B.M. Gandotra and ors. Versus Stateof J&K and Ors -passed the following order : ".........No action is, therefore, required to be taken in these proceedings except to make a further direction to respondent 1 and 2 to strictly comply with the directions issued by this Court in judgment dated November 18, 1973 in Writ petition No. 60 of 1972, in order to allay the fears of the petitioners who are knocking the doors of various forums at different times to get their grievances redressed." The grievance of the petitioners herein is that the abovesaid directions of this Court have not been complied with by the respondents and they have prepared the seniority list showing some of the respondents, in the main writ petition, senior to them. In this regard reply of the respondents is that tentative seniority list was circulated in 1975 but no objection was raised by the petitioners herein or others and as such that seniority list has become final. Respondents have placed on record the copy of circular issued under No : G -215/71 -Govt. dated 22 -2 -1975. This circular refers to tentative seniority lists of Asstt. Engineers of R&B wing and Hydraulic wing of the Public Works Department, issued under circular Nos. PW -54 - 20/72 dated 5 -7 -1973 and No. I -22 -Estt/73 -Seniority dated 5 -7 -73, which have been revised in pursuance of the decision of this Court in Writ petition - B.M. Gandotra and others Versus State and Ors, fixing the seniority of the petitioners therein and other eligible persons according to the promotion quota fixed for degree -holder Asstt. Engineers and Diploma holder/Sectional Officers. It seems that these tentative seniority list issued after the decision of this Court on 18 -11 -1973 were not challenged either by the petitioners or by any other official. The plea of the petitioners that their names have wrongly been placed in the seniority lists in defiance of the order of this court is not borne out from any record. The direction given by this Court in Writ petition No. 60 of 1972 was that the Government should fix the seniority of the petitioners in that petition with due regard to council Order No. 1328 -C of 1939 as amended by SRO -35 of 1961 and such other orders as may have been in force in the financial years 1970 -71, 1971 -72. This direction was required to be followed by the respondents in its letter, and spirit. As no data is available it is difficult to believe or disbelieve either side. Learned counsel for the respondents has also pointed out that further promotions have been stopped under the orders of this court which is creating difficulty for the department. Considering all the above facts and circumstances, it is again directed that the order of this Court passed in Writ Petition No. 60 of 1972 shall be complied with strictly and further promotions be made in accordance with that direction. I, however, find no case to be made out against the respondents for their having committed any contempt of this Court. With the above observations the present proceedings are dropped. The order of this Court dated 16 -8 -1985 staying further promotions is vacated. No order is required to be passed in the application (C.M.P. No. 1989/85) filed by some officials to allow them to intervene in the petition and as such the same is dismissed.;

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