The Punjab and Haryana high court has quashed the appointment of two medical officers (dental) by the Punjab government in 2012.
The high court bench of justice GS Sandhawalia passed the judgment while deciding a bunch of petitions challenging these appointments in the backward class (BC) category. Dr Barinder Pal and Dr Subprinder Kaur were hired against these posts. In the same matter, the high court also dismissed the petition of one Dr Anuradha Saini, who had sought direction for her appointment under the BC ex-servicemen’s category. The bench directed the government to appoint Dr Amarjit Singh in her place. This post was kept vacant after the dispute arose in 2012.
Justice Sandhawalia directed the Punjab government to complete the exercise of appointments within two months. “The petitioners shall be entitled to all the notional benefits for the purpose of seniority from the date of initial appointment of candidates who were part of the original selection, since they were denied the appointment wrongly,” the high court bench recorded in the order.
The 20 posts, including 11 backlog posts of medical officer (dental), were advertised in 2011. Dr Barinder Pal and Dr Subprinder Kaur were given provisional appointment, which was challenged on the grounds that at the time of advertisement, the both did not have the requisite educational qualification. In Dr Saini’s case, it was alleged that she was a reserved-category candidate by the 2009 notification, which at the time of advertisement was in abeyance; hence, she was not liable to be considered in the category.
During the hearing, it came to light that Dr Barinder Pal had neither passed the required medical college examination nor completed his internship before the August 2011 deadline for applying for the posts. He registered with the Punjab Dental Council on December 7, 2011, only. Dr Subprinder Kaur completed her internship only in November 2011 and registered with the Punjab Dental Council the same month.
In Dr Saini’s case, the court observed that the petitioner was not entitled to appointment in the reserved category in the absence of any appropriate certificate issued in accordance with the instruction of the department of welfare (as the advertisement required), so no benefit could be granted.