The Punjab and Haryana high court has stayed the appointment process for filling 602 posts of staff nurses in Punjab advertised in July last year and also reserved its judgment on the selection of 7,041 primary schools' teachers in Punjab, which was stayed by the HC last year.
The three judges' bench comprising justice Hemant Gupta, Ajay Tewari and Rajiv Narain Raina stayed the appointment of staff nurses till the outcome of its judgment, which was reserved on Thursday after concluding of the arguments in a bunch of cases.
The written test for the appointment of nurses was conducted on November 13 last year and the court was informed that the government was in the process of issuing appointment letters to the selected candidates.
The petitioners had challenged granting of five extra marks to the students from a rural background for appointment to the posts of nurses and schoolteachers.
On June 11, 2011, the high court had stayed the selection of 7,041 teachers in primary schools of rural areas in Punjab among junior basic teachers (JBT) training and elementary teachers training (ETT) candidates on the basis of an advertisement issued on April 26 last year.
In one of such petitions, Sarabjit Kaur of Hoshiarpur district had challenged the selection process for the appointment of staff nurses on the ground that granting five extra marks to candidates with a rural background was unreasonable.
As per the prescribed criteria, 80 marks were kept for the written test, five marks for candidates from a rural background, five marks for higher qualification (BSc/MSc) and 10 marks for experience of government and National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) job. The court was informed that the Supreme Court had repeatedly ruled in a number of cases that it was not permissible to make reservation in favour of rural candidates who had passed matriculation from a rural area.
The court was told that a person who had passed senior secondary examination or its equivalent as well as diploma in general nursing and midwifery could not be said to be at a disadvantageous position since these courses were available in cities and he/she had come to a common platform with urban candidates after doing their diploma.