The Punjab and Haryana high court on Friday disposed of a petition seeking quashing of the decision of the government to appoint 38 candidates selected for Haryana Civil Service (executive branch and allied services). The exam for the recruitments was conducted by the Haryana Public Service Commission (HPSC) in 2004.
During the course of hearing on Tuesday, senior advocate Gurminder Singh and RPS Bara, appearing for the non-tainted candidates (whose names have been cleared for appointment), apprised the court that the name of petitioner figured in the list of tainted candidates and his candidature should not be considered. The segregation of tainted and non-tainted was done by the state government on the report of state vigilance bureau which had conducted a probe in the matter.
The HC bench of justice Ritu Bahri disposed off the petition directing the petitioner Anirudh Sharma to approach the state government to consider his case and further take a decision within three months. However, the HC made it clear that the direction being issued in Sharma’s case would not affect the appointment of others in any manner.
The petitioner had contended that his name figured in the selected list of candidates and the vigilance probe ordered following alleged irregularities had cleared his name. Hence he should also be given the appointment. He also sought direction that the decision of February 2016 of the government be quashed, whereby not all of those who had qualified the examination were being given appointments.
The high court, while deciding a letter patent appeal of 2015 on February 27, 2016, had directed the state government to issue appointment letters to non-tainted candidates expeditiously. The HC also granted three months to the state government for deciding the representations of tainted candidates.
However, the appointment letters to non-tainted candidates have not been issued even after 45 days of the HC order because the representations of tainted candidates were being examined by the chief secretary’s office.
On April 5, a few tainted candidates, including Anirudh Sharma, had approached the Supreme Court to stay the process of appointment of non-tainted candidates.
However, the special leave petition was dismissed as withdrawn by the apex court. The SC, however, granted liberty to the petitioners to approach the HC.
The 2004 HCS recruitment process was started during the INLD rule. The examination for 102 posts was conducted by HPSC. But by the time the candidates were to be given appointments, the model code of conduct came into force. Later, following allegations of irregularities, the government had put the appointments in abeyance and started a vigilance inquiry.
Will offer appointment to innocent candidates: Haryana
The chief secretary office told the court that in view of inquiry report submitted by the state Vigilance Bureau, an in-principle decision has been taken to appoint candidates who were found innocent in this report. It is also submitted that since the vacancies for 2004 have already been withdrawn, these candidate cannot be given appointment against these vacancies. These candidates can be considered against present vacancies as fresh candidates. It is also made clear that those accepting the offer of appointment would not be entitled to back wages or any other benefits. The decision of the competent authority of offering appointment is also subject to the revised recommendation of HPSC, said government before the HC. The court ratified the stand in its February order.