The Punjab and Haryana high court division bench comprising justices Jasbir Singh and HS Sidhu on Friday recused itself from hearing the case with regard to the selection of six assistant public relations officers (APROs) in 2011 by the Punjab government and referred the case to the other bench.
The bench had on the earlier date of hearing given the Punjab government a week to submit the number of vacancies of information and public relations officers and explain its granting five extra marks to each of the rural-area candidates selected in 2011.
The high court has summoned the relevant case record as well. But when the case came up for hearing on Friday, the state government submitted that though it had prepared a reply, it would seek some more time to file a better affidavit.
The high court had on May 8 put a stay on the state gover nment decision of May 5 to dismiss six assistant public relations officers (APROs) appointed in July 2011 and induct six new officers based on a fresh merit list to comply with the singlejudge bench’s directions of January 30.
However, till the next hearing on May 28, when the case would come up before the other bench, the high court’s stay orders will remain in force.
Of the fired PROs , Kuljit Mianpuri, Balwinder Kaur and Baljinder Singh are stationed in Chandigarh; Hardeep Singh at Barnala; and Avtar Singh and Gurpartap Kairon in Jalandhar. Megha Mann, Puneet Pal Singh Gill, Gagmeet Singh Aujala, Parmeet Singh, Balwinder Kumar and Bhupesh Chatha are new officers.
On May 5, the state government had also demoted Subeg Singh (Chandigarh) and Jagdeep Singh Gill (Bathinda) from the post of deputy public rela-tions officer (DPRO) to APRO. However, Narender Pal Singh and Amandeep Singh were promoted as DPRO.