Punjab and Haryana High Court on Saturday stayed the appointment of 668 panchayat secretaries in Punjab government’s department of rural development and panchayats.
Advertisements for the appointments were issued on August 4 and the list of selected candidates was issued on December 13 by the Subordinate Services Selection Board.
Justice Jaswant Singh passed the stay order on petitions filed by Sunil Kumar of Abohar and 30 others who had challenged the non-inclusion of their names in the list due to lack of requisite qualification though they had passed computer application course from ISO 9001:2008 certified institutes.
It was contended by petitioner’s counsels that before applying for the post of panchayat secretaries, some of the aspirants had specifically put a query before the board itself whether the certificates obtained through ISO certified institutes are valid or not.
In response, the board had stated that these are valid and on the website of the board and also it was uploaded that ISO certified computer courses are valid for the posts of panchayat secretary.
But still, in the final select list, the names of the petitioners were not included and therefore the action of the respondent board was not only illegal and arbitrary but also against the stand taken by the respondent itself, they contended.
In the earlier advertisements issued by the same board for the post of clerks and steno-typists, the board had prescribed that the qualification acquired through ISO certified institutes are valid and the board cannot adopt different yardsticks for the recruitment of panchayat secretaries, they contended.