EARLY TIMES REPORT
JAMMU, Sept 21: Justice Ali Mohammad Magrey quashed the orders passed by the Managing Director, J&K State Forest Corporation SFC Order No. 62 of 2012 dated 24th of February, 2012 and SFC Order No. 63 of 2012 dated 24th of February, 2012, respectively, whereby the services of the petitioners as Grading Assistants/ Attendants have been disengaged.
The petitioners claim to have been appointed in the respondent- Corporation way back in the year 2010 in terms of SFC Order No. 238 of 2010 dated 26th of April, 2010. After qualifying the 'Performance Test' within one month from the date of their appointment, as was provided in their order of appointment, the services of the petitioners were regularized by the respondent-Corporation in terms of SFC Order No. 468 of 2020 dated 30th of June, 2010 and SFC Order No. 518 of 2010 dated 27th of July, 2010. Thereafter, by SFC Order bearing No. 62 of 2012 dated 24th of February, 2012 and SFC Order No. 63 of 2012 dated 24th of February, 2012, the Managing Director, J&K State Forest Corporation/ respondent No 2, terminated the services of the petitioners on the ground that their services as Grading Assistants/ Attendants are no longer required in the respondent-Corporation. It is these termination orders that have been challenged by the petitioners through the medium of these two petitions.
Justice Magrey observed that admittedly, the ground on which the services of the petitioners stand disengaged in the respondent-Corporation, as reflected in the impugned orders, is that the respondent-Corporation was of the view that the services of the petitioners are no longer required in the Corporation, as such, same are disengaged, meaning thereby that the rules relating to reasonableness, good faith, justice, equity and good conscience, which are a part of law and relate to administration of justice and fairness, have been followed in breach and, resultantly, it has caused miscarriage of justice. Since, as per the pleadings on record, it is forthcoming that the services of the petitioners were regularized in the respondent-Corporation with the approval of the Chairman of the respondent-Corporation after passing of the 'Performance Test' on their part, therefore, the respondent-Corporation, all of a sudden, could not have unilaterally issued the disengagement orders of the petitioners solely on the ground that the services of the petitioners are no longer required in the respondent-Corporation. The respondent-Corporation, instead of doing so, in case they had any complaint/ objection with regard to the appointment/ regularization of the services of the petitioners, were obliged under law to give adequate time to the petitioners for seeking their response in respect thereto and, thereafter, pass appropriate orders in accordance with the law governing the subject, which has not been done, thereby resulting in violation of principles of natural justice. Apart from the above, the pleadings of the parties and the record available on the file reveals that the petitioners have been engaged/ appointed under a valid process initiated by the respondent-Corporation with the approval of the competent authority. Seemingly, there has been no violation of any law while making such engagement/ appointment as is projected by the same authority before this Court. The Chairman of the respondent-Corporation has, with fair approach and on the basis of material placed before him by the competent authority, i.e., Managing Director of the Corporation and with a view to achieve the object of the Scheme, accorded the approval which is fair and legal.
With these observations, High Court allowed the petitions quashed the order passed by MD SFC and directed to allow the petitioners to continue discharging their services in the respondent-Corporation on the posts they stand appointed and regularized against. JNF