HC directs appointment of 151 Wireless Assistants as Constable Operators

SRINAGAR, DEC 24: Observing that direct recruitment is to be normally made after notifying the vacancies by public notification to conform to the requirement of the equal opportunity, the High Court of J&K and Ladakh on Friday directed appointment of 151 Wireless Assistants as Constables (Operator) on regular basis.
A division bench of Chief Justice N Kotiswar Singh and Justice Puneet Gupta also directed appointment of 63 appellants as Wireless Assistants against the 151 vacant posts of Wireless Assistants with stipulations.
Disposing of a number of appeals regarding recruitment to the posts of Constables (Operators) and Wireless Assistants respectively in Jammu and Kashmir Police, the court also directed authorities to clarify the status of the “Constable (Operator)” as regards “Constable” as provided in the J&K Police Rules.
In this batch of petitions, the petitioners were earlier appointed as Constables (Operators) and their services were subsequently terminated in terms of the common judgment and order dated 9 May 2014 and were subsequently appointed as Wireless Assistants vide order dated 10 May 2018.
However, their appointments as Wireless Assistants were set aside by the Central Administrative Tribunal vide dated 28 May 2021. Thus, being aggrieved by the order of the CAT, these writ petitions came to be filed before the court.
Also, several appellants who were initially appointed as Constables (Operator) as per the merit list/select list prepared district-wise, in terms of an advertisement issued on 09 March 2007 and their appointments were successfully challenged by the private respondents primarily on the ground that appointments to these posts were to be made on the basis of the select list prepared at the State level and not by preparing district wise select list.
The appellants, the court said are stated to be numbering 151 and who are presently serving as Wireless Assistants, shall forthwith be appointed as Constables (Operator) on a regular basis by adjusting against the 170 vacant posts of Constables (Operator) and their appointments shall be given effect notionally from the date they were initially appointed as Constables (Operator), without any back wages.
“The services of those persons who are already appointed as Constables (Operator) after the services of the appellants were terminated vide order dated 19.01.2017 will remain undisturbed and will be en-bloc senior to the appellants in the LPAs (appeals) as the seniority of the Constables (Operator) should be based on the state level merit list which was prepared in terms of the direction issued by the Single Judge in the impugned judgment and order dated 09.05.2014 ….as this would truly reflect the comparative merit of the candidates, irrespective of the fact that they may be appointed on different dates and in different districts,” the court said In the 41-page judgement.
The authorities, the court said, in order to avoid any such similar future litigation shall also clarify the status/position of the “Constable (Operator)” as regards “Constable” as provided in the J & K Police Rules, 1960.
“The private respondents who have continued to pursue their claim till now, stated to be numbering 63, shall be appointed as Wireless Assistants against the resultant 151 (one fifty-one) vacant posts of Wireless Assistants, subject to their suitability and on attaining the benchmark in terms of the performance in the recruitment process pursuant to the advertisement dated 09.03.2007, as may be decided by the appointing authority within a period of one month from today.”

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