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Mandatory for the authorities to consider each and every supportive material provided by the accused before arriving to a conclusion: The High Court of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh

The Respondents were required to take into consideration all the documents submitted by the Petitioner in support of her claim regarding the genuineness of her certificates before inflicting the heavy punishment of cancellation of her appointment. The aforesaid has been established by the High Court of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh while adjudicating the case of Shameema Akhter v. SKIMS Medical College & Ors [SWP No. 2892/2018 c/w CCP(S) No. 50/2020] which was decided upon by a single judge bench comprising Justice Ali Mohammad Magrey on 7th October 2021.

The brief facts of the case are as follows. The case of the Petitioner is that she, on the culmination of the process of selection initiated by the Respondents, among others, came to be appointed as a Nursing Aide. While discharging her duties, a show-cause notice is stated to have been served upon the Petitioner informing that in view of the clarifications received from the J&K State Board of School Education, Srinagar, her academic certificates are proved fictitious/ fake rendering her appointment as Nursing Aid liable for cancellation. Petitioner filed a writ petition before this Court for quashing the show cause notice and directing the Respondents to confirm the services of the Petitioner as well as for the release of her salary. The court directed the Respondents to provide an opportunity of being heard to the Petitioner, including a reasonable opportunity to lead evidence in support of her defense. Besides, the Court also directed for maintenance of status quo in regard to the service of the Petitioner.

The Committee had not categorically rendered its opinion that the certificates submitted by the Petitioner are fake, but had, instead, recorded that the Petitioner did not submit any legitimate document to lend support to the genuineness of her certificates. The Petitioner, on the other hand, during the pendency of the instant Petition, has, in addition to the documents alongside the Petition, placed on record certain documents. The pleadings on a record made it clear beyond doubt that neither the minutes of the meeting nor the contents of the Order impugned made any mention with regard to the aforesaid documents placed on record by the Petitioner before this Court either with the Writ Petition or with the subsequent CMs, which documents, as per their plain reading, have a direct and vital bearing on the issue involved.

The court perused the facts and arguments presented. It was of the opinion that “the right and proper course, in this case, would be to dispose of this Petition by directing the Respondent No.2 to re-consider the entire matter in tune with the earlier directions passed by the Court in SWP No. 2611/2017, after having due regard to all the documents placed on record by the Petitioner, either alongside the Petition or with the subsequent CMs.”

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Judgment Reviewed by – Aryan Bajaj

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