The Punjab and Haryana high court has advised defence forces to put reasons for rejection of a candidate on medical ground in the process of recruitment, on its website.
The high court bench of justice RN Raina observed that defence services being all India services, candidates apply from far flung places. It is an arduous endeavour to seek justice from Delhi and other parts of India where candidates are medically checked up, the bench said.
“This will instill faith in information available in public domain by putting parties to advance notice after the final results are known to the authorities,” it said.
The high court was hearing a plea of a Hoshiarpur resident, who was a candidate for recruitment of sailors in Indian Navy in 2016. He was declared medically unfit at the first stage for tachycardia (an abnormally rapid heart rate) and impacted wax (buildup of layers of earwax within the ear). In the review, the candidate was declared fit on these two counts but diagnosed with chronic otitis media effects of bilateral (inflammatory diseases of the middle ear).
Since no document was supplied to him, he procured the review board record through right to information (RTI) and as the opinions differed, he got himself examined at Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER), Chandigarh.
The PGIMER termed him fit on all counts. Following this, he approached the high court in October 2016. The court referred his case to Army Research and Referral Hospital, Delhi Cantt, which termed him fit.
While asking the navy for his induction, the HC also took note of the petitioner’s counsel, who had argued that forces should consider that in cases where candidates are rejected on medical grounds, the gist of the reasons for rejection, if not provided to the candidate, should at least be put on the website so that they can easily access it. This will save time and expense of contestants pursuing requests under the Right to Information Act, 2005 and other legal means, the petitioner had argued.
“Information put timely on the official website in such cases will help the interested persons to notice their shortcomings and deal with them. The suggestion commends itself to me as a transparent process. This court trusts the authorities, which must already be seized of this problem, and if not, they may consider putting a rational system in place,” justice Raina said, expressing hope that authorities would take appropriate measures.