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JKSSB allowed to conduct JKP SI, JE exams; DB stays judgement on writ petition

Kashmir, Ladakh, Jammu Courts to observe winter vacation from Jan 2

JAMMU: In a big development, a division bench of Jammu and Kashmir High Court on Friday stayed the judgement quashing the recruitment process for Jal Shakti Department Junior Engineer-civil and Jammu and Kashmir Police Sub Inspector.

Staying the judgement of Writ Court passed on Thursday by Justice Wasim Sadiq Nargal, the bench comprising of Justice Sindhu Sharma & Justice Vinod Chatterjee Koul allowed the Jammu and Kashmir Service Selection Board (JKSSB) to continue with the selection process.

However, the JKSSB has been asked to withhold the results of the selection process, till the petition is decided.

The court has further granted three weeks time to JKSSB to file its response.

The JKSSB had conducted the Computer Based Written Test (CBT) Examination for 163 posts of Jal-Shakti Junior Engineer (Civil) on December 5 and 6, while the same for 1200 posts of Sub-Inspector have been scheduled from December 7 to 19.

On Thursday, Justice Wasim Sadiq Nargal of the High Court had quashed the ongoing recruitment process for these posts, while hearing a petition filed by Vinkal Sharma and others aspirants who sought direction to JKSSB not to conduct the examination through M/s Aptech Limited, blacklisted in the past, and to appoint some other agency, which is not previously blacklisted for conducting such examinations.

Noting that undue benefits seems to have been granted to M/s Aptech Limited, the examination conducting agency for JKSSB, Justice Nargal had also directed the UT Government to constitute a high level Committee headed by not less than a retired High Court Judge to enquire into the conduct of Jammu and Kashmir Service Selection Board.

Later Thursday evening, the JKSSB had postponed the CBT examination scheduled for December 9, saying that a fresh date of examination shall be notified separately.

On Friday, the JKSSB filed an appeal against the decision and the matter was heard by the division bench comprising of Justice Sindhu Sharma & Justice Vinod Chatterjee Koul, which allowed the JKSSB to continue with the selection process.

The bench observed that the contention of the Advocate General D C Raina is that the writ petition has been decided by the Writ Court in contravention to Rule 14 and 15 of the writ proceeding rules and the entire selection process to the post of Junior Engineer (Jal Shakti Department) and Sub-Inspector (Home Department) have been quashed.

DB stayed the impugned judgment and ordered that JKSSB Shall proceed with the selection process of Junior Engineer (Jal Shakti Department) and Sub-Inspector (Home Department), however, result of the same shall await further orders from this Court.

While hearing the petition on Thursday, Justice Wasim Sadiq Nargal had observed that the process adopted and decision made by SSB to award contract to M/s Aptech Limited is malafide and change of condition in tender was intended to favour M/s Aptech Limited and these decisions will have an effect on public interest as the M/s Aptech Limited has been assigned to conduct examinations, wherein the selectees will be appointed to hold public posts.

Justice Nargal on Thursday allowed the writ petition and quashed the contract awarded by JKSSB in favour of M/s Aptech Limited pursuant to e-NIT No.19 of 2022 dated 30.09.2022 for conduct of its various examinations through computer based tests mode.

READ JUSTICE NARGAL’S JUDGEMENT ON THURSDAY:

HC quashes JE-Civil, JKP SI exams; retired HC Judge-led panel to probe into JKSSB’s conduct

“Consequently, all the exams viz Junior Engineer-civil (Jal Shakti Department) and Sub Inspector (Home Department) held by JKSSB through M/s Aptech Limited in furtherance of the aforementioned ‘award of contract to conduct examinations’ are also set aside/cancelled at whatever stage they are as on date,” Justice Nargal had ruled.

He had directed Govt to constitute a high level Committee headed by not less than a retired High Court Judge to enquire into the conduct of Jammu and Kashmir Service Selection Board for the their brazen irregularities/illegalities in changing the terms/conditions of the tender, also as to what weighed with them to award a contract to conduct an examination by an organization which has previously facilitated malpractices in public examinations and accordingly appropriate action be initiated against those found guilty.

 

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