HIGH COURT OF ORISSA: CUTTACK
W.A. No.255 of 2011
From an order dated 07.03.2011 passed by a learned Single Judge of this Court in W.P.(C) No.8976 of 2009.
Smt. Dutika Munda @ Dutika Munda
W/o Dinesh Munda,
Vill: Sahajbahal, PO: Kharasanmal,
Via: Gourpali, Dist: Sambalpur ... Appellant -Versus-
State of Orissa and others ... Respondents For Appellant : Mr. Bhojaraj Seth For Respondents : Government Advocate (For R- 1 to R-4)
Miss. Geetanjali Majhi
P R E S E N T:
THE HONOURABLE THE CHIEF JUSTICE SHRI.V.GOPALA GOWDA AND
THE HONOURABLE SHRI JUSTICE B.N.MAHAPATRA
Date of Judgment: 14.09.2011
B.N.Mahapatra,J. In the present Writ Appeal, the appellant assails the order dated 07.03.2011 passed by a learned Single Judge of this Court in W.P.(C) No.8976 of 2009 by which the learned Single Judge confirmed the order of the Collector, Sambalpur in cancelling the appointment of the appellant as Anganwadi Worker in village Sahajbahal in the district of Sambalpur.
2. Bereft of unnecessary details, the facts and circumstances giving rise to the present Writ Appeal are that the appellant along with three others applied for the post of Anganwadi Worker for village Sahajbahal under Jamankira Block and attended the interview in which the appellant stood first and respondent No.5-Smt. Uttamasini Mahakul stood second. According to the appellant, the said post was reserved for SC and ST candidate and the appellant is the only ST candidate. She possesses the High School pass certificate and is a permanent resident of the said Anganwadi Centre. Pursuant to the order of engagement dated 04.08.2007 issued by the C.D.P.O., Jamankira in favour of the appellant, she joined in the said post on 06.08.2007. While she was continuing as such, respondent No.5 filed writ petition No.14599 of 2007 before this Court challenging engagement of the appellant as Anganwadi Worker in Sahajbahal village. The said Writ Petition was disposed of with a direction to the Collector, Sambalpur to dispose of the matter on merit. The Collector, after hearing both the parties vide its order dated 08.06.2006 directed disengagement of the appellant as Anganwadi Worker on the ground that the appellant is not a permanent resident of village Sahajbahal and further directed for engagement of respondent No.5 as Anganwadi Worker in the said village. Being dissatisfied by the said order, the appellant approached this Court in W.P.(C) No.8976 of 2009 and the learned Single Judge vide order dated 07.03.2011 confirmed the order 3
passed by the Collector, Sambalpur and dismissed the writ petition. Hence, the present appeal.
3. Mr.Seth, learned counsel appearing for the writ appellant submitted that the order of the learned Single Judge is erroneous, illegal and contrary to the law and facts. The learned Single Judge failed to appreciate the various submissions made before him in their proper perspective. The post of Anganwadi Worker in question is reserved for ST candidate and the appellant being a candidate belonging to ST community was selected by the C.D.P.O. The appellant is a matriculate and came out successful in interview, whereas the respondent No.5 is a plucked matriculate. The appellant is a resident of Sahajbahal. Tahasildar, Kuchinda has issued residential certificate vide Revenue Misc. Case No.856 of 2007 after conducting due enquiry. Respondent No.5 belongs to Other Backward Class category. The selection was made on merit basis and the appellant secured highest mark in the interview. The said residential certificate having not been challenged, the learned Single Judge is not justified to confirm the order of the Collector, Sambalpur wherein he observed that the appellant is temporarily staying at Sahajbahal to take care of her old parents and is not a permanent resident of Sahajbahal and the residential certificate has been obtained from the Tahasildar, Kuchinda for the purpose of engagement as 4
Anganwadi Worker. Mr. Seth alternatively submitted that a fresh selection may be conducted, if his client is found ineligible.
4. Learned Government Advocate supported the orders passed by the Collector, Sambalpur as well as the learned Single Judge and produced photocopies of record for perusal of this Court.
5. Miss. Majhi, learned counsel appearing for respondent No.5 submitted that there is no infirmity and illegality in the order passed by the Collector, Sambalpur as well as in the order of the learned Single Judge, who confirmed the order of the Collector, Sambalpur.
6. On the rival contentions raised by the parties, the only question that arises for consideration by this Court is as to whether the learned Single Judge is justified in affirming the order dated 08.06.2009 passed by the Collector, Sambalpur cancelling the engagement of the appellant as Anganwadi Worker in village Sahajbahal and directing engagement of respondent No.5 as Anganwadi worker in said village.
7. At this juncture, it is necessary to extract the relevant portion of the order of the Collector, Sambalpur passed on 08.06.2009 which runs as under:-
"Considering the above facts and examining the related documents submitted by the petitioner, the AWW and the villagers including elected representative of Sahajbahal Village the Collector is of the view that the engagement of Smt. Munda as AWW has been not in accordance with the Govt. guidelines for selection of AWW.
It is therefore, ordered that the engagement of Smt. Dutika Munda be cancelled with immediate effect and Smt. Uttamsini Mahakul, W/o- Sri Narasingha 5
Mahakul of village Sahajbahal, PO: Kharsanmal, Sambalpur be engaged as Anganwadi Worker of Sahajbahal AWC."
8. The learned Single Judge confirmed the above order of the Collector, Sambalpur with the following observations:- "4. On perusal of the records, it reveals that this Court in a writ petition bearing W.P.(C) No.14599 of 2007 filed by opposite party no.5, directed the Collector to dispose of the matter on merits. Pursuant to the said direction of this Court, both the petitioner and opposite party no.5 were interrogated by the Collector about their residential status. The petitioner submitted a written statement before the Collector stating that she got married to one Dinesh Munda of village Kapribahal, P.O. Jayantpur under Jujumura Block on 10.04.05 and stayed in her inlaw's house for six months. She returned back with her husband to her parental house to look after her old parents as her brothers were serving far away from the home and was not able to take care of the old parents. That apart, the birth certificate issued by the Registrar of Births and Deaths and Health officer, Sambalpur Municipality vide Regd. No.2542/31.5.06 clearly mentioned the address of the petitioner, who is the mother of the newly born baby Babita Munda to be resident of village Jayantpur, Sambalpur. The Collector further observed that the petitioner is temporarily staying at Sahajbahal to take care of her old parents and is not a permanent resident of Sahajbahal and the residential certificate has been obtained from the Tahasildar, Kuchinda for the purpose of engagement as Anganwadi Worker.
5. In view of the above observation made by the Collector, I find no illegalities or irregularities committed by the Collector while passing the impugned order.
6. In the final analysis, the writ petition fails and is dismissed."
9. In the course of hearing, this Court vide order dated 22.04.2011 directed the learned counsel appearing for the appellant to 6
produce the ration card as well as voter card at least for a period of ten years in support of his contention that the appellant is a permanent resident of village Sahajbahal. The learned Advocate failed to produce the documents as directed by this Court vide order dated 22.04.2011. We have perused the photocopies of the record of selection of Anganwadi Worker of Sahajbahal village under Jamankira Block in the district of Sambalpur. We do not find anything from the record to take a view contrary to the decision taken by the Collector, Sambalpur in his order dated 08.06.2009.
10. The factual finding of the Collector, Sambalpur has been affirmed by the learned Single Judge. We do not find any cogent ground to interfere with the order of the Collector, Sambalpur as well as the order of the learned Single Judge. In our view, there is no infirmity or illegality in the order of the learned Single Judge confirming the order of the Collector, Sambalpur warranting interference by this Court.
11. The writ appeal is devoid of any merit and accordingly the same is dismissed.
V. Gopala Gowda, C.J. I agree. ...................................
Orissa High Court, Cuttack
Dated 14th September, 2011/ss