The Punjab and Haryana high court has ordered that 1,983 physical training instructors (PTIs) in Haryana whose selection was quashed by the high court's single judge bench last month, would continue to remain in service till the final decision of the appeals filed by the state government and around 300 aggrieved PTIs on Thursday.
The PTIs were selected by Haryana staff selection commission (SSC) between 2006 and 2010 and the high court's single judge bench had quashed the selection process on September 11 directing the commission to hold a fresh selection within a period of five months.
The appeals came up for hearing before the division comprising chief justice Arjan Kumar Sikri and justice Rakesh Kumar Jain on Thursday which issued notices of motion to the petitioners who had filed the petition before the single judge resulting in quashing the selection.
Appearing for the state government, advocate general Hawa Singh Hooda assured the bench that till pendency of appeal, the state was not going to remove PTIs as the government also needed them.
Many of these PTIs were present in the court during the hearing of the case on Thursday.
The bench also said that till the appeals are pending, the respondents would not exercise the option to petition the high court for implementation of the single judge order for starting fresh selection process.
Allowing the prayer made in a bunch of 68 petitions, the single judge bench had observed that all decisions for selection were solely taken by chairman of commission without involving other members and the selection criteria was changed many times after advertisement of the posts on July 20, 2006 till the interviews held in September and October, 2008. The result was finally declared after a gap of one year and six months on April 10, 2010.
However, the state government filed the appeal before the division bench on the grounds that criteria of selection was decided by the commission members and not solely by the chairman. However, it was also informed that the criteria made by the chairman was never implemented and the last decision for selection was taken by the commission and not alone by the chairman. The division bench was informed that the unsuccessful candidates could not have challenged the selection process, as per law, as they all had been called and also participated in the interview.
However, in their appeals, the serving PTIs also mentioned that they were not given the opportunity by the single judge to submit their reply on the date of argument. It was also informed that the state government had followed the same selection criteria in 2003.
The case would now come up for arguments on October 9.