Patna HC upholds order setting aside selection of 21 college principals in Bihar university

A single bench of Patna high court had in September 2014 quashed the appointments made on March, 2, 2012.

patna Updated: Dec 21, 2017 18:17 IST
Patna HC,Patna high court,Magadh University
The Patna high court.(HT file photo)

The Patna high court on Thursday upheld its single bench order setting aside the appointment of principals in 21 Magadh University colleges.

A division bench of justice Ajay Kumar Tripathi and justice Rajeev Ranjan Prasad also directed the vigilance department of Bihar government to complete its inquiry into the alleged irregularities in the selection process and bring the guilty to book.

The division bench, in its 86-page judgment, said the single bench order of September 12, 2014 “does not suffer from any illegality and infirmity.”

Selections on public posts must be fair, equitable and above board or else it would violate the constitutional guarantee under Article 14 and 16, the judges said. “A court cannot be a mute spectator to a sham or farce exercise of selection in public domain. Every person in authority must maintain utmost probity in conduct and honesty in exercise of power in public domain or else the constitutional guarantee will remain a dead letter,” they added.

Earlier, the state government had informed the court that in the backdrop of definite complaint of corrupt practices and recommendations of the Magadh division commissioner, it had decided to get the matter inquired by the vigilance department.

The division bench was hearing a batch of appeals filed by Jitendra Rajak, principal of a Mokama College, and others, whose appointments were quashed by the single bench.

The division bench had reserved its verdict on October 6.

The appellants had challenged the single bench order setting aside the appointments made on March, 2, 2012. In its order, the single bench had also directed the university to conduct fresh interview of candidate, who have applied in response to an advertisement issued in 2008. Till then, these principals would continue on the present posts and discharge only routine work, the single bench said, adding that they would not be able to take any decision or financial and other major issues.

The unsuccessful aspirants for principal posts had moved the single bench, alleging that the selection committee was not constituted as per law and the appointment proceedings were conducted without the minimum required quorum. Many experts had either denied having signed or withdrew the signature on the selection list, they said, adding that the committee had not followed the reservation rules.

First Published: Dec 21, 2017 18:17 IST