HC dismisses Qayoom Wani’s appeal

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Asif Iqbal

Srinagar, April 5: The high court on Tuesday dismissed employees’ leader Qayoom Wani’s apperal against its single bench verdict, upholding his transfer to Tangmarg School by the Education department.

“Having minutely gone through the impugned judgment, we are of the view that the Writ Court (single bench) has dealt with the matter in accordance with the law settled by the Supreme Court, particularly the one governing transfers. Therefore we do not see any infirmity in the reasoning recorded by the learned Writ Court in the impugned judgment. Consequently, no ground is made out to warrant interference with the impugned judgment on any count whatsoever,” said a division bench of the court comprising Justice B L Bhat and Justice B S Walia.

“The Government is the best judge to decide how to distribute and utilize the services of its employees. However, this power has to be exercised honestly, bona fide and reasonably, not on extraneous considerations or for achieving an alien or oblique motive; conversely it would amount to mala fide and colourable exercise of power. The order in the instant case has not been issued for any extraneous consideration or oblique motive,” the court said, ruling that Wani has been transferred and posted where, by dint of his appointment, he ought to be.

On March 4, the single bench of the court had said that being an employee union leader does not entitle him to seek a posting of his choice, obliterate hedges of discipline and abandon official duties.

Qayoom had challenged the February 2 order, claiming it has been issued out of vendetta against him by director School Education Kashmir whom he had arrayed in the petition as ‘Faisal Rasool Shah alias Shah Faisal of Sogam, Kupwara’, without mentioning his official designation.

Saying that the union leaders will also have to go to the schools to teach students would not in any way come within the definition of mala fides, the court said that the leaders are paid salaries from public money only for the purpose (here teaching).

The court had said that transfers and postings are part of government services and an employee can move court for legal remedy if he feels aggrieved on account of the transfer on legally tenable grounds.

The court had said that transfer of teachers, masters and incharge headmasters was routine and Wani has not been singled out.

“It otherwise sounds strange and illogical that a master is designated as Incharge Headmaster but does not actually hold such a charge. The relevant Recruitment Rules do not envisage any such designation. Such a designation is a misnomer,” the court had added.