HC sets aside selection of nine PR officers in Punjab
The Punjab and Haryana high court has set aside the selection of nine information and public relations officers (IPROs), made by the Punjab government in July 2011.chandigarh Updated: Jan 31, 2014 21:26 IST
The Punjab and Haryana high court has set aside the selection of nine information and public relations officers (IPROs), made by the Punjab government in July 2011.
The court headed by justice Rajesh Bindal has now granted three months' time to the state government to recast the merit list after ignoring five additional marks illegally awarded to candidates for clearing middle (Class 8) and matriculation examinations from schools in rural areas.
The selection of nine candidates, namely Navdeep Singh, Sher Jung Singh, Gurmeet Singh, Jagdeep Singh Gill, Amrik Singh, Prabhdeep Singh, Manvinder Singh, Haaquam Singh and Subeg Singh, was challenged. Three separate petitions were filed by Kultar Singh, Parminder Singh and Shaheen P Parshad, challenging the selection.
The posts were advertised by the government in September 2009. The written test was conducted in July 2010 and the interviews were held in December 2010. The selections were finalised in July 2011.
The court set aside the selection on the main ground that when the advertisement was issued in September 2009, there was no criteria of granting five additional marks to candidates who had passed their middle and matriculation examinations from schools located in rural areas. But the said criteria was approved by the chief minister in October 2010, subsequent to the written examination.
"The issue as to whether rules of the game, namely the criteria for selection, can be altered after the selection process has commenced has been gone into by the Supreme Court on a number of occasions and it has been held that the change of rules of the game during the process or after the game had been played, is clearly impermissible," the court said.
Also, the court set aside the selection on the basis of a full-court judgment of the Punjab and Haryana high court in 'Abhishek Rishi vs state of Punjab case' (2013), which had ruled that the award of additional marks for passing matriculation and Class-12 exams from rural schools was ultra vires (beyond the powers) to the Constitution. "It was opined that such a provision could not be made in the absence of any quantifiable data available with the state government," said justice Bindal.