The Punjab and Haryana high court on Monday set aside the selection of a close relative of former Haryana Vidhan Sabha speaker HS Chatha.
Gurvinder Singh, son-in-law of Chatha's sister, was selected for the post of liaison officer at the state Vidhan Sabha when Chatha was the speaker in 2009.
The petitioners had questioned the selection alleging that the selected candidate had been a below-average student throughout and that the sole reason behind his selection was that he was the relative of the then speaker. They had alleged that the criterion for selection was not prepared before the selection process started.
The high court bench of justice Rajesh Bindal, while setting aside the selection, asked the government to proceed further in accordance with the rules.
The court observed that as per records, Chatha had been involved at every important step in the process of selection.
"Entire exercise was being done only for the recruitment of the close relative of then Speaker (Chatha)," the high court observed, while recording that Chatha had decided to withdraw the order of inviting applications for different posts except for the post of liaison officer.
The court had also found overwriting and cutting on the files pertaining to the selection. The high court questioned as to why a written test or any other exercise for shortlisting was not carried out and all 891 applicants were called for interview. It also questioned as to how those even having higher qualification than the selected candidate could not get more than 20 marks as many were M Phil, LLB and MBA, and the selected candidate got 37 marks out of 60, where weightage was given to higher education.
Chatha's relative had secured 30% marks in matriculation, 47% in BA and 55% in MA (Punjabi). It was also recorded that marks were not awarded during the interview process and awarded nearly 20 days after, at the time of recommendation.
The court also took note of the fact that the process of selection got over in four months while in many other cases it took years.