GH MOHD WANI Vs. STATE OF J&K
LAWS(J&K)-1999-7-22
HIGH COURT OF JAMMU AND KASHMIR
Decided on July 01,1999

Gh Mohd Wani Appellant
VERSUS
STATE OF JANDK Respondents

JUDGEMENT

- (1.) PETITIONER was appointed as Plant Protection Operator on 17.11.1966 in the grade of Rs.65 -100 under Area Development scheme by Deputy Director of Horticulture of Kashmir Province Srinagar. Later he was transferred on 12. -7.1970 and posted as such plant protection operator at Wapzan/Marhama (Block Dachinpora) Anantnag,(Annexure p & p -1). His pay and allowance was stopped rather withheld from June 1970, and told that he had been suspended. No suspension orders were issued. The petitioner filed number of applications[representations for revoking his suspension and release of his pay and allowance from time to time between December, 1970 to April 1992 as is indicated by Annexures p -2 to p -7. Respondent No.4 asked the petitioner to produce the suspension order before him as same is not forthcoming from his office. He represented before this respondent (District Horticulture Officer, District Anantnag). Thereafter, the respondents 3 to 5, entered interse correspondence on the subject of petitioners suspension and the District Horticulture Officer, Anantnag, respondent No.4, sought the enquiry record and other service record of the petitioner from respondent No.3,5 and 2 in order to finalise the suspension case of the petitioner. The annexures p -9 to p -19 spreading over the period of March 94 to July 96, fully bear testimony to the fact that despite eloborate interse correspondence by the respondents, the petitioner had been left in lurch and no steps were taken and orders issued to reinstate the petitioner. As his grievance(s) was not redressed and on finding that the presentations before the authorities bore no fruit, he was left with only alternative to seek judicial redressal of his grievance and for the purpose he filed this writ petition.
(2.) IT is pleaded that once the petitioner was suspended and possibly on some report of misconduct, it was obligatory on the part of competent authority to hold and complete the enquiry and to take necessary action in the matter. The inaction of the competent authority is not completing the enquiry and continuing the suspension of the petitioner inordinately for over 26 years, is arbitrary and illegal. Even, the petitioner was not paid the suspension allowance despite his representations. There is no reason to continue with suspension of the petitioner when even the enquiry warranted by Rule 31 of the J&K Civil Service (Classification Control & Appeal) Rules, 1956, was not held. The act of invoking and continuing with suspension of the petitioner is malafidy and amounts to punishment. The suspension is without any authority of law. On these pleaded grounds, the petitioner prays for re -instatement, release of backwages and other consequential benefits.
(3.) RESPONDENTS have filed reply. The respondents case is that the petitioner has taken inordinately long time to approach the court and his plea of reinstatement is solicited to be rejected on the ground of latches and long delay of 26 years in approaching the court. It is further pleaded that it is possible that the petitioners service might have been terminated. As the office records of the DHO Anantnag were damaged in floods and the records of the Horticulture Assistant Sirihama Dachinpora was gutted in fire, therefore, the respondents are not in a position to verify the claim of the petitioner that he was placed under suspension. Petitioners appointment as plant Protection Officer and his transfer and posting in Dachinpora Block, Annexure p -2 is not refuted. The representations annexed with the petition are stated to be repetition and copies of just one representation bearing different dates. The petitioner has been absent from duty. While under suspension, he is not entitled to salary and the petitioner should be deemed to have abandoned his service. The onus is on petitioner to show that he was suspended and that the enquiry was not completed. The respondents despite searching for the records have not been able to locate the records of the petitioners case. However, it is admitted that the petitioner has been existing on the master -roll of the Horticulture Department till ending December 1970. But thereafter, he has disappeared from the records of the department. Additional Advocate General canvases that the petition suffers from latches. Petitioner has abandoned the service. He has approached the court after about two decades. He can not be taken back in service, at such, distant point of time.;


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