The Punjab and Haryana high court has stayed the contractual appointments of patwaris and kanungos from the retired lot of these junior revenue officials in Punjab.
The high court bench of justice Jaswant Singh decided it on the petition of 23 people, including Baljit Singh of Rupnagar, who had told the court that the government had not completed the recruitment of 1,227 patwaris started in August 2015 and instead issued a general notice on August 5, inviting applications from retired patwaris and kanungos for two years of contractual appointment on first-come-first-served basis. The application deadline was August 22.
Their petitioners’ counsel, Dinesh Kumar, submitted that these posts were governed by the Punjab Revenue Patwaris (Class 3) Service Rules, 1966. “Qualification prescribed for patwari was amended from matriculation or higher secondary in 2014 to graduation now. But retired patwaris and kanungos are being hired under the un-amended rules,” he argued. “Limiting recruitment to retired employees is unreasonable and irrational.”
It was submitted that there was no provision under the 1966 rules for hiring patwaris from amongst the retired lot, and by doing so, the government was depriving the petitioners of their “just and legitimate” right to be also considered. Seeking response from the state government, the high court bench has ordered that till the next hearing on September 29, the appointments, if any made after the August 5 notice, will remain stayed.