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CAT has jurisdiction to hear cases of Anganwadi workers: HC

CAT has jurisdiction to hear cases of Anganwadi workers: HC

Srinagar, Mar 10 :The High Court has set aside the order of Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) refusing to hear the plea of Anganwadi workers on the ground that they are not holding civil post as such the same is not maintainable before it.

The Division Bench of Atul Sreedharan and Justice Moksha Kazmi set aside the said order of CAT and returned the plea back to CAT for its further proceedings.

The bench has held that the Tribunal without appreciating the application filed by the petitioners whereby, they had restricted their relief only to the extent of seeking promotion to the post of Supervisor, has returned their plea to this Court by holding that the petitioner who are working as Anganwadi workers do not hold a civil post and such an application is not maintainable before Administrative Tribunal under Administrative Tribunals Act.

“In view of above, the impugned order dated 25.08.2023, passed by Central Administrative Tribunal, Srinagar Bench, is set aside. Registry of this Court is directed to transmit the record of the petition to the Central Administrative Tribunal, Srinagar Bench. The parties are directed to appear before the Registrar, Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT), Srinagar on 18.03.2024 for further proceedings”, the DB directed.

Referring to the Jammu and Kashmir, Social Welfare, Subordinate Service Recruitment Rules, the court said that in terms of the Rules, the petitioners are seeking promotion against the post of Supervisor within their prescribed quota. The petitioners are no more aggrieved of their seniority as Anganwadi workers as the same has been settled by this Court in one of the cases and has already been acted upon by the Government.

The petitioners had filed an application wherein they have categorically stated that despite the fact that the Departmental Promotion Committee has considered all the relevant material of the petitioners; no formal orders of promotion have been issued by the respondents.

Court said, the petitioners had restricted their relief before the Tribunal to the extent that the authorities be directed to convene DPC to make formal promotions to the post of Supervisors and they be given effect to the formal promotion on the said post from the date they have been made In-charge on these posts and the Tribunal without appreciating the application filed by the petitioners, has returned their application to this Court.

Court has clarified that a member of service means a person appointed in a substantive capacity to the service as per the provisions of the rules in order to become a member of the Service, one must satisfy two conditions, namely, the appointment must be in substantive capacity and the appointment has to be to the post and service according to rules, and within the quota to a substantive vacancy.

Underscoring the relevance of Articles, 309, 310 and 311 with regard to a civil post, the court said, a post is a service or employment and a person holding a post is a person serving or employed under the State or Union Territory. “A civil post is an office on the civil side of the Administration. Cadre means the sanctioned strength of service, class, category or grade”, the DB said.

Court said the Article 309, lays down that subject to the provisions of the Constitution, Acts of the appropriate legislature may regulate the recruitment, and conditions of service of persons appointed, to public services and post in connection with the affairs of the Union or of any State.
“The proviso to this Article confers power upon the President or the Governor, as the case may be, to make rules regulating the recruitment and the conditions of service of persons appointed to the services and post in connection with the affairs of the Union or the State. Article 311, affords several protections to the persons employed in the civil capacities under the Union or a State”, read the judgment.

The DB has clarified it to the Tribunal that under the “The Administrative Tribunals Act” provide for the adjudication or trial by Administrative Tribunals of disputes and complaints with respect to recruitment and conditions of service of persons appointed to public services and post in connection with the affairs of the union or any state or any local or other authority within the territory of India or under the control of the Government of India or of any (corporation or society owned or controlled by the Government in pursuance of Article 323–A of the Constitution) and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.

Court has clarified that the Central Administrative Tribunal has jurisdiction to hear the case with respect to promotion of Anganwadi worker to the post of Supervisor in terms of Jammu & Kashmir Social Welfare, Subordinate Service Recruitment Rules, 2009, under Administrative Tribunals Act.

Srinagar News

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