File reply in case challenging hiring of 47 firemen: HC to MC

Acting on a petition challenging the appointment of 47 firemen in 2010 by the Municipal Corporation Chandigarh, the Punjab and Haryana High Court on Thursday directed the civic body to file an affidavit giving sequence of facts with regard to the CBI inquiry in the case and present a status of criminal proceedings, if any. The directions were given by Justice R K Garg.

Justice Garg also held, "If information required is not filed before the date fixed for the next hearing, MC Commissioner will have to be present in the court."

The court fixed the next date of hearing of the case for February 13. In October 2010, the CBI had booked three firemen, who were recruited for the job without appearing for the entrance examination.

Gurvinder Singh had filed the petition seeking directions to set aside the appointments of firemen who were appointed in pursuance to the advertisement dated August 30, 2009. The petitioner asserted that these posts were illegal, unfair, non-transparent and in violation of Article 14 and 16 of the constitution.

The court was apprised that in 2009, the MC had issued advertisements inviting applications for the posts of 47 firemen, nine drivers and three watch room operators for the MC (Fire and Engineering Service). The entire selection process was completed by May 13, 2010.

The petitioner further submitted that even the written examination was held in English only for the posts of firemen, while the test for drivers was conducted in Hindi, English and Punjabi. Singh said that no officer was assigned to check impersonation.

"This act of the MC is also violative of the guidelines issued by the Indian government, which provided that the test has to be conducted in Hindi as well," read the petition.

It was also submitted that the MC had even failed to submit the list of the selected candidates and break up of the examination results.

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