HC quashes recruitment of SF-10 personnel – The Shillong Times

SHILLONG: The High Court of Meghalaya on Thursday quashed the advertisement and recruitment process of SF-10 commandos citing anomalies carried out by the Home Department.
Earlier in a similar order on July 19, the High Court had questioned the recruitments in the Prisons Department.
The petitioner in the fresh case, Ajay Master, through his lawyer K. Paul had sought assailing the entire selection process culminating into publication of select list of eligible candidates called for interview on June 6 this year for the post of commandos and others in SF-10 pursuant to the advertisement on February 24, 2016.
The posts included 625 vacancies for male commandos/constables, 152 vacancies for female commandos/constables, five for the post of mechanics, seven for the post of signal/communication operators, 16 for drivers, four for armourers and four vacancies for the post of buglers.
The petitioner appeared for physical test and written test and scored 115 marks and 112 marks, respectively. However, when the selection list of eligible candidates for interview was published, the petitioner did not find his name mentioned on it in spite of having secured more marks than the successful candidates.
Moreover, in the select list, only the names of candidates belonging to scheduled tribes (Khasi/Jaintia and Garo) were shown and that there was no list for open category candidates.
Further, the advertisement does not disclose the number of reserved posts to be filled up annually, therefore leading to the inevitable inference that all the posts were advertised as general category.
According to the petitioner such action of the government in selecting only reserved category candidates is absolutely illegal and perverse.
Paul, counsel for the petitioner, submitted that the petitioner in this case, though obtained better marks than any other candidates, he was not qualified for the interview for the reasons best known to the department concerned.
P. Nongbri, counsel for the respondents submitted that he had not gone through the file, so he has no further submission.
After going through the advertisement, Judge SR Sen said it was found that physical efficiency test was for 250 marks and 150 marks for written examination, 50 marks for interview, a total which comes to 450 marks, but nowhere it was found about the pass mark or qualified mark to be obtained by a candidate to get appointment.
According to the court, the advertisement was also silent about the present reservation policy adopted by Meghalaya Government which is supposed to be 40 per cent for the Khasi/Jaintia category, 40 per cent for Garos, 5 per cent for other backward classes and 15 per cent for general category.
“So the advertisement itself kept the applicant in the dark as to what will be their eligibilities to get the appointment in the different posts. We must remember that an advertisement is the initiator of an examination or interview as well as it is a rule which needs to be followed strictly as the guideline of the whole game or whole exercise of appointment,” the Judge said, adding that the advertisement is a rule and guideline which needs to be transparent and clear, so that ambiguity should not arise in the minds of the candidates appearing for the examination or interview.
“Since the reservation policy of the Government of Meghalaya has not been maintained properly and pass mark or cut-off mark has not been mentioned, it is definitely a defective one and any examination or interview on the basis of such advertisement is a faulty,” the court said.
The judge also said the additional affidavit of the government regarding the matter is also misleading and cannot be accepted.
After considering the facts and circumstances of the case, the writ petition and the additional affidavit filed on behalf of the State respondents, the court found that the examination conducted by the Police Department was totally against the principle of natural justice and law and rules therefore such selection cannot be considered.
“Hence, I hereby set aside the advertisement as well as the entire recruitment process,” the Judge said.
The government has also been asked to follow strictly the principle, observation and direction laid down in the matters related to four earlier writ petitions on the recruitment process and to make a fresh advertisement allowing the candidates who have participated in the examination including the candidates, if any, who have crossed the age limit.
The court also said that the common judgment and order on July 19 passed in four writ petitions was also tagged along with the fresh order to be treated as part and parcel of the judgment.
With anomalies related to recruitment in the Prisons Department, the High Court had on July 19 reminded the government that the Constitution does not desire more than 50 per cent reservation and a nationalistic view should be taken so that no class or citizen is deprived of his or her rights.
After hearing four petitions filed by deserving job applicants from the general category for various posts in the Prisons Department, the court said the state reservation policy should be strictly adhered to and the state cannot divert the seats or posts from one category to another.

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