NATIONAL INSURANCE CO LTD Vs. SHOWKAT AHMAD
LAWS(J&K)-1999-10-17
HIGH COURT OF JAMMU AND KASHMIR
Decided on October 21,1999

NATIONAL INSURANCE CO LTD Appellant
VERSUS
Showkat Ahmad Respondents

JUDGEMENT

BHAWANI SINGH, CJ. - (1.) THESE Letters Patent Appeals (LPA NO.274/1995, National Insurance Company Ltd. and Others Versus Showkat Ahmad and Others; LPA No. 65/1995, Ravinder Koul Versus General Insurance Corporation of India and Others; and LPA NO. 76/1999, Mohammad Abbas and Another Versus General Insurance Corporation of India and Another are proposed to be disposed of by this judgment, since they arise out of the Judgment of single Judge dated August 21, 1995. Necessary it would be to mention that in LPA No. 274/1995, National Insurance Company Ltd. and Others Versus Showkat Ahmad and Others, Judgment has been challenged as a whole, while in other Appeals, the grievance is confined to some of the reliefs extended to some of the petitioners, thereby either depriving the others therefrom or affecting their service career. However, before addressing ourselves to the crucial questions on which parties have disagreement, important it would be to narrate the material facts of the case.
(2.) PETITIONERS , S/Shri Showkat Ahmad, Zubair Ahmad Farooqi, Peer Hissamud -Din, Ravinder Koul, Opinder Tikoo, Mohammad Abbas, preferred writ petition under Article 226 of Constitution of India (Corresponding to Section 103 of the Constitution of J&K). Shri Showkat Ahmad and Shri Zubair Ahmad Farooqi were appointed Inspector Grade -I from 1 -5 -1981 & 1 -5 -1982 in the National Insurance Company Ltd. Peer Hissamud -Din was appointed Inspector Grade -I from 1 -11 -1978, while Ravinder Koul and Opinder Tikoo were appointed Inspector Grade -I from 1 -6 -1982 and 16 -12 -1983 and Mohammad Abbas Ganie from 27 -1 -1981 in the same capacity. They submitted that on the basis of their business performance, merit and suitability, they were eligible for promotion to the next higher post of Assistant Administrative Officer. Due to disturbance in the valley in 1990, the entire Hindu community migrated to Jammu and other parts of the country. This migration included Officers from the valley, who sought their adjustments outside at different places. On account of serious militancy conditions from 1990 and migration of Officers, the management of Divisional and Branch offices of the Company and its business completely crippled, since no outsider was willing to come to the valley. Posts remained vacant. Consequently, Senior Divisional Manager, in the interest of the Company, issued orders asking the petitioners to function as Branch Manager. With this background, 55th meeting of Inter Companyâ„¢s Co -ordination Committee (ICCC) was convened on February 26, 1991 in which Regional Managers of different Companies resolved that persons posted in disturbed areas of Jammu and Kashmir and Punjab be considered for promotion because of their hardships and their cases suitably recommended for promotion against the post of Assistant Administrative Officer.
(3.) GENERAL Insurance Corporation of India decided to amend the existing promotion Policy for promotion of Development Officers Grade -I to the cadre of Assistant Administrative Officers. Therefore, they revised Promotion Policy which postulates the promotion of candidates from the State of Jammu and Kashmir as separate zone. Respondent -3 invited application from Development Officers -Grade -1 for promotion to Assistant Administrative Officers from Punjab, Chandigarh, Haryana, J&K and Himachal Pradesh on April 30, 1992 in utter disregard of the revised Promotion Policy against 13 vacancies of Assistant Administrative Officers, though under the revised Promotion Policy, they were required to declare the vacancies for Jammu and Kashmir State separately from other States. By way of abundant caution, the petitioners also applied for these posts through proper channel. Respondent -4 issued ranking list which shows the eligible Development Officers Grade -I for promotion to the post of Assistant Administrative Officer. Petitioners also figured in this ranking list at Serial Nos. 69, 80, 92, 106, 113 and 124. Petitioners have serious grievance against the action of respondents. Precisely, their grievance is that by including petitioners in the Ranking List, there is infringement of their legal rights in the matter of promotion to the next higher cadre in the State of Jammu and Kashmir guaranteed by the revised Promotion Policy. It deprives the petitioner from consideration exclusively for the State of Jammu and Kashmir, which has been carved out as a separate zone for the purpose of promotion. Thus, the action of respondents throwing open the posts falling vacant in the State of Jammu and Kashmir is unwarranted being in violation of revised Promotion Policy. Reckoning with this background, Ranking List is not in accordance with revised Promotion Policy for the State of Jammu and Kashmir and is liable to be set aside. Petitioners and other Development Officers of Grade -I have to be considered against 13 vacancies of Assistant Administrative Officers available in the State and not with such Officers of other States. Specifically, it is stated that S/shri Showkat Ahmad, Zubair Ahmed Farooqi, Peer Hissam -ud -Din had been discharging the duties of the post of branch manager for past two years, therefore by application of doctrine of Ëœequal pay for equal workâ„¢ they are entitled to the benefit of pay scale as attached to the post of Branch Manager keeping in view the exigency of circumstances they had been working against these posts. Since parties have serious dispute whether the relief sought could be granted and if so, to what extent and whether Court could grant more than what was claimed, it is necessary to record the nature of relief sought by the petitioners through this writ petition: (i) Certiorari for quashment of impugned Advertisement Notice date 22 -4 -1992 and 30 -4 -1992 and the ranking list issued vide circular No: CHRO : MKTG : 7: 92 dated 01 -06 -1992; (ii) Mandamus commanding the respondents to declare all the vacancies numbering 13 of Asstt. Administrative Officers for the Kashmir valley in the National Insurance Company Ltd; (iii) Mandamus seeking redrawal of the ranking list in strict accordance with the revised Promotion Policy treating State of Jammu and Kashmir as a separate Promotion Zone; (iv) Mandamus commanding the respondents to accord consideration for promotion of Administrative Officers in accordance with the revised promotion Policy against the clear vacancies numbering 13 for the Kashmir Valley; (v) Mandamus directing the respondents to pay the petitioners 1 to 3 at the rate of pay scale attached to the post of Assistant Administrative Officer from the dates they are holding the said posts. Any other writ direction or order which this Honble Court may deem fit be passed in favour of the petitioners and against the respondents. ;


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