HC sets aside 2008 selection process of clerks to Assembly

Sensing alterations in marks awarded to candidates during the course of interviews held in 2008 for 13 posts of clerks in the Haryana Vidhan Sabha, the Punjab and Haryana High Court on Tuesday set aside the selection process.

While delivering the judgment, Justice Augustine George Masih directed the state authorities to hold fresh elections to the post of clerks in accordance with law, within two months.

Devender Sheokand had filed a petition in 2009 seeking quashing of the said appointments.

The Haryana Vidhan Sabha secretary had advertised 11 posts of clerks, along with other posts, for filling up the same vide advertisement dated June 1, 2008. However, the advertisement was withdrawn and a fresh advertisement to fill up 13 posts of clerks, along with other posts, was published in various newspapers on August 10, 2008.

The petitioner had appeared for an interview on October 20, 2008, but appointment letters were issued to the 13 candidates, who were working on the 89 days' basis in the Haryana Vidhan Sabha Secretariat, and they joined the said posts.

The petitioner applied for information under the Right to Information Act vide letter dated May 4, 2009, to obtain the details of the interview result, which was supplied to him through the letter dated May 11, 2009. Marks assigned to candidates were reduced drastically in the interview.

Taking stock of the facts, Justice Masih held, ". a fresh advertisement was issued for filling up 13 posts of clerks, which was intentionally done to accommodate the selected candidates who were already working on an 89 days' basis with the Vidhan Sabha, and the selection was merely a farce and an eye wash as the exercise was done to regularise back door appointment of 13 clerks".

Masih further maintained that the reason for cancellation of earlier advertisement was stated to be administrative, but no reason was found from the records, which was produced for perusal of the Court. It was also not denied that except for the 13 candidates, no other candidate, who had applied for the post of clerk, stood selected. Even the petitioner was asked where he belonged to and who was the MLA of his constituency. No type test was held by the Selection Committee to assess whether the candidates possessed the minimum prescribed typing speed, the court held.

... contd.

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