I&FC had bypassed seniority of engineers possessing distance mode degrees
SRINAGAR: The J&K High Court on Thursday upheld the validity of degrees obtained through distance mode by stating that these degrees are valid under J&K (Subordinate) Service Recruitment Rules, 1997 and also through government order dated 30-5-2012.
The court was hearing a petition of engineers of Public Health Engineerin), Irrigation & Flood Control Department (I&FC), departments, who had been bypassed in seniority list because of B.Tech degrees obtained through distance mode.
The petitioners had challenged government order no.41-PW(Hyd) of 2017 dated 27.01.2017 passed by Commissioner/Secretary to Government, Public Health Engineering, (I&FC), J&K wherein the petitioners claim for seniority was rejected by stating that the B.Tech degrees obtained by them through distance mode were not equivalent to the corresponding degrees awarded through regular mode.
While passing the judgement Justice Ali Mohammad Magrey referred to state cabinet decision No.104/14/2012 dated 16-05-2012 wherein the Government Order No. 252-HE of 2012 dated 30-05-2012 accorded sanction for the approval to the recommendations made by the committee constituted, vide government order No.442-GAD of 2011 dated 13.04.2011.
“The degrees obtained through distance education mode, which have been approved by the Distance Education Council and awarded from their headquarters by University Grants Commission recognized Universities, established by an Act of State Legislature, shall be recognized for the purpose of employment as it is the prerogative of the employer to prescribe the eligibility for any post or service
The degree awarded through Distance Mode by the Central Universities, established under the Act of Parliament and having jurisdiction to extend their activities in the entire country shall also be recognized.
The degree awarded by the Universities, whether situated within or outside the State through distance mode in the subjects falling in Science Stream, where practicals are part of the curriculum, shall not be considered as equivalent to the corresponding degrees awarded through regular mode by the State Universities. However, degrees in such of the Distance Education Council approved science subjects where practicals are part of the curriculum and are conducted from within the respective campuses of the University Grants Commission recognised Universities, established by an Act of the Parliament or the State Legislative, shall also be recognised.”
The court remarked that the ground pressed by the respondent that degrees are not valid falls flat as government order dated 30-5-2012 itself recognizes the validity of these degrees.
“Such degree certificates are duly recognised under the Rules and that there was no legally tenable reason or justification for respondent no.1 to have refused to honour these certificates and rejected the claim of the petitioners,” the court said.
“In view thereof, the Government order no.41-PW (Hyd) of 2017 dated 27.01.2017 is quashed. Respondent no.1 (Commissioner/ Secretary, I&FC, J&K) is directed to re-consider the case of the petitioners in furtherance of publication dated 06.08.2012 for fixation of their seniority in the seniority list of Degree holders,” the court directed.