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Cost imposed on DJ Barabanki for irregularities

IN A significant verdict, the Lucknow bench of the High Court while quashing the entire selection process of class III and IV posts of the subordinate judiciary, Barabanki, held in 2004, has slapped a cost of Rs. one lakh on the district judge, Barabanki, SB Vaish.

india Updated: Jan 21, 2006 01:47 IST

IN A significant verdict, the Lucknow bench of the High Court while quashing the entire selection process of class III and IV posts of the subordinate judiciary, Barabanki, held in 2004, has slapped a cost of Rs. one lakh on the district judge, Barabanki, SB Vaish.

The consequential appointments made in pursuance to the aforesaid selection process have also been quashed.

Justice DP Singh of the High Court here passed the above orders while allowing a bunch of writ petitions filed by one Dinesh Kumar, Sheetla Prasad and others challenging the aforesaid selection on the grounds of arbitrariness and gross irregularities committed during the course of the examination.

Out of the cost money of Rs. one lakh, Rs. 5000 each has to be paid to the seven petitioners while the remaining amount shall be deposited with the legal cell of the High Court to assist poor litigants.

Justice Singh further issued a mandamus for restoring the ad hoc appointees of 1999,who had filed WP. No. 6179/ (s/s)/2004 and to permit them to continue in service till fresh regular selection was held in accordance with the law.

The district judge Barabanki was further directed to hold fresh regular selection expeditiously leaving it open for him to retain services of a few appointees on ad hoc basis or the erstwhile ad hoc employees, with prior permission of the administrative judge in case the exigencies of services required to do so, by issuing fresh appointment letters for specified periods.

It may be recalled that the district judge Barabanki on July 30, 2004 had advertised posts of stenographers, clerks, process server and drivers etc. The examination was held on August 29, 2004 and the results were declared onNovember 4, 2004. Having failed at the said examinations, the petitioners filed the aforesaid writ petitions alleging gross irregularities and malpractices during the course of examination. It was also alleged that wards of various judges and staff of the subordinate judiciary were selected ignoring the deserving candidates.

During the course of hearing the bench summoned various records relating to the examination. After going through the material on record, the court came to the conclusion that the entire selection process was held in highly arbitrary manner without sticking to the norms & procedure.

It was found that most of the copies of class IV employees were not examined at all, and interview sheets contained correction and alteration of gradings. Similarly copies of class III employees suffered from alteration of marks with downward as well as upward revision to suit the purpose. It was also found that the marks of those candidates who had received more marks than the last selected candidate had been reduced by alteration, resulting in their non-selection.

The bench accordingly remarked that the whole examination and interview appeared to be a sham and suffered from extraneous reasons and consideration.

The interpolation, cutting, overwriting and reduction of marks amounted to commission of fraud and constituted a criminal offence, the bench added.

Justice Singh further remarked that the gravity of the misconduct and the manner in which the selection process was held called for a major penalty against the DJ, but instead of recommending any action he was leaving it open for consideration of the chief justice of the state. The chief justice may also consider referring the matter to the CBI since prima facie a criminal offence has been made out, justice Singh added.

First Published: Jan 21, 2006 01:47 IST