The Haryana government on Friday got a major relief as the Punjab and Haryana high court dismissed the petition challenging constitution and selection process of Haryana School Teachers Selection Board (HSTSB), and vacated stay on result declaration of over 20,000 posts of teacher.
The high court had, on April 11, put a stay on the declaration of teachers' recruitment results by the Board because of which over 20,000 selected Post Graduate Teachers (PGTs) and primary teachers (PRTs) were awaiting appointment letters and posts of teachers were lying vacant in schools throughout the state.
The division bench comprising chief justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and justice Augustine George Masih also slapped a fine of Rs 25,000 on the petitioner, Vijay Kumar Bansal, for entering into "mischievous litigation" through a "publicity interest litigation" "motivated with malafides against respondent No. 5 (chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda) to gain political mileage by misusing the judicial forum".
State to act against Poonia
The court said that since "role and manner of working" of Board chairman Brigadier Nand Lal Poonia (retd) had "severely been criticised and adversely commented upon" by the court earlier while setting aside selection of 1,983 physical training instructors (PTIs) under his chairmanship of Haryana Staff Selection Commission, the state needed to take "appropriate decision".
The court added that it was for the "competent authority to take a decision at its own end with regard to continuance or otherwise of respondent No. 6 (Poonia) as chairman of the Board". It further expressed, "We stop short here as we are quite sanguine of an appropriate decision to be taken in this regard within a reasonable time."
The court said "by now, it is well settled that no PIL is maintainable in service matters". It further added that merely because the petitioner had earlier been filing writ petitions, which have been entertained as PILs, does not grant him a licence to use the court forum as a pro-bono litigant for his political ambitions.
"In view the conduct of the petitioner and his meddling in politics and shifting his allegiance from one political party to the other …leave much to be explained on the part of the petitioner with regard to his claim for involvement of no personal interest in the present writ petition," the court observed.
Vijay Bansal, president of Panchkula-based NGO Shivalik Vikas Manch, had filed the public interest litigation. The petitioner had sought quashing of the HSTSB Act, 2001, stating it to be violative of the Constitution. It was also submitted that the Haryana Public Service Commission should carry out the recruitment process, which was now being made by the HSTSB.
The petitioner had also challenged the appointments of the chairperson and members of the board made by extending "favouritism". Members of the board were Brig Nand Lal Poonia (retd) (chairperson), Gian Chand Sahota, Jagdish Prasad, Serena Mahajan and Tribhuwan Parkash Bose.