A day after single bench of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh High Court had cancelled the examination conducted recently by the J&K Services Selection Board (JKSSB) for the posts of police sub-inspectors and junior engineers in the Jal Shakti department, a division bench of the high court comprising Justice Sindhu Sharma and Justice Vinod Chatterji Koul on Friday allowed JKSSB to proceed with the exams.
However, the division bench has restricted the JKSSB from announcing the results till disposal of a writ petition that challenged the entire process to select police sub-inspectors, junior engineers and other staff.
Acting upon a petition filed by JKSSB via advocate general DC Raina in a case JKSSB versus Vinkal Sharma and others, Justice Sindhu Sharma and Justice Vinod Chatterji Koul of the high court stayed the impugned judgment of the single bench of the high court and allowed the JKSSB to proceed with the selection process of junior engineers in Jal Shakti department and police sub inspectors in home department.
“JKSSB shall proceed with the selection process of JE (Jal Shakti department) and sub inspector (home department). However, result of the same shall await further orders from this Court,” read concluding part of an order issued by the division bench.
On Thursday single bench judge Justice Wasim Sadiq Nargal, in a writ petition filed by Vinkal Sharma and others, had ordered cancellation of the examinations conducted by the J&K Services Selection Board (JKSSB) for the posts of junior engineer (civil) at Jal Shakti department (public health engineering) and sub-inspector of the J&K Police.
Justice Nargal had also directed the government to constitute a high-level committee headed by not less than a retired high court judge to inquire into the conduct of the JKSSB.
Justice Nargal had also directed the government to carry out a probe into brazen irregularities conducted by the JKSSB and initiate appropriate action against those found guilty.
“The government is hereby directed to constitute a high-level committee headed by not less than a retired high court judge to inquire into the conduct of Jammu and Kashmir Service Selection Board for the their brazen irregularities and illegalities in changing the terms and conditions of the tender, also as to what weighed with them to award a contract to conduct an examination by an organisation which has previously facilitated malpractices in public examinations and accordingly appropriate action be initiated against those found guilty,” he had observed.
Justice Nargal had also stated that by its own act of omission and commission, the functioning of Jammu and Kashmir Service Selection Board does not inspire confidence in holding public examinations.
“It has become incumbent on all stakeholders to review the functioning of the board,” the high court had said.
The division bench stayed the single-bench order on the grounds that the J&K Services Selection Board had changed terms and conditions to engage a blacklisted agency “Aptech Limited” to conduct a computer-based test.