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LAW HELPS THOSE WHO HELP THEMSELVES AND DOES NOT COME TO THE RESCUE OF THE PERSONS WHO CHOOSE TO SLEEP OVER THEIR RIGHTS: PUNJAB AND HARYANA HIGH COURT

This particular decision is upheld by the Punjab and Haryana High Court  through he division bench of Justice G.S Sandhawali and and Justice Vikas Suri in the case of Dr. Sangeeta Agarwal and ors v State of Punjab and ors (LPA No. 1347 of 2017)

FACTS

Appellants were appointed as Medical Officers (Dental) with the Department of Health and Family Welfare in pursuance to the advertisement issued by the Punjab Public Service Commission. They were governed by the Punjab Dental Service erstwhile (Class-II) Rules, 1968, as per the appointment letter (Annexure P-1). The writ petitioners, four in number have indicated their dates of joining in para No.3 of the writ petition, ranging from 10.12.1990 to 16.03.1999. After being appointed as Medical Officers (Dental), the writ petitioners served in Rural Dispensaries/Primary Health Centres in the State of Punjab. The writ petitioners were transferred/ posted by respondent No.1 in Govt. Dental College and Hospital, Amritsar/ Patiala as Medical Officer against the posts of Demonstrator/Senior Lecturer for teaching BDS (Bachelor of Dental Surgery) students in Govt. Dental College and Hospital and later designated as Demonstrator. The said appointment was done after getting ‘No Objection Certificate’ from their parent Department of Health and Family Welfare, Punjab. Reference can be made to the transfer/posting orders, Annexures P-2 to P-6, as Demonstrator/ Assistant Professor. Reference has also been made to the Punjab Dental Education Service (Class-II) Rules, 1977 (hereinafter referred as ‘1977 Service Rules’) for regulating the conditions of the service of the persons appointed to the Punjab Dental Education Class-II service.

The mode of recruitment is provided under Rule 10 of the 1977
Service Rules. As per the said Rule, the three modes of appointment to the post of Demonstrator are (i) direct appointment, (ii) by promotion and (iii) by way of transfer or deputation from any officials already in service of Govt. of India or the State Government. The qualifications stipulated for appointment to the post of a Demonstrator (Dental), a person should have passed BDS degree from a recognized University or equivalent qualification with atleast 6 months experience as House Surgeon in a recognized Dental College and Hospital and should not have taken more than two additional attempts in passing all the University professional examinations during the BDS course with atleast 60% marks in the final BDS examination.

JUDGEMENT

It may be noticed at the cost of repetition that the appellants have not given any explanation even before this Court, as to what preempted them from seeking judicial review even after information under RTI was furnished, as had been done by few other similarly situated persons. It has been rightly held by the learned Single Judge that it cannot be believed that the appellants were not aware of those orders, as the effected party had already filed writ petition and obtained interim stay and the said stay order was not applicable to the writ petitioners/appellants herein.

Accordingly, the Letters Patent Appeal is partly allowed and the impugned judgment dated 31.05.2017 dismissing the writ petition is set aside; the writ petition is restored to its original number and the same is ordered to be heard with CWP No. 15605 of 2013 titled ‘Jagan Jot and others vs. State of Punjab and others’, stated to be posted for 03.11.2022. Needless to observe, it would be not open for the learned Single Judge to hear the writ petitioners on the prayer for interim relief now, but the case of appellants would be considered on merits regarding their absorption.

JUDGEMENT REVIEWED BY NAISARGIKA MISHRA

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