No bonus marks for children of non-gazetted policemen
SHILLONG: The Division Bench of the High Court of Meghalaya has quashed the stay on the recruitment process of SF-10 commandos with conditions.
On August 31, the Single Bench headed by Justice SR Sen had stayed the selection process citing various anomalies carried out by the Home Department.
However, the Division Bench comprising Chief Justice Dinesh Maheshwari and Justice V P Vaish on Monday quashed the stay order of the Single Bench, but with riders.
Earlier, the same Division Bench had quashed the stay order of the Single Bench on recruitment in the Prisons Department.
After taking up the appeal filed by the state government, the High Court observed that the Single Judge had observed that in the recruitment process, 250 marks were assigned for physical efficiency test, 150 marks for written examination and further 50 marks for interview, but the pass marks or qualifying marks were not mentioned.
In this regard, the senior counsel for the appellant pointed out that the entire recruitment process was to take place in accordance with the Policy of Transparent Recruitment Process, as notified by the Home Department and therein, all the details of applicability of the Reservation Policy of the Government of Meghalaya as also the bench-marks for physical efficiency and further division of marks in physical efficiency test are spelt out.
The Counsel further submitted that only the candidates crossing the physical efficiency test were permitted to take the written examination and thereafter, the candidates in each category were called for interview.
The Single Judge had also taken exception against providing bonus marks to different categories of candidates, while observing that there was no explanation as to why such bonus marks are being provided as against the efficiency and merit.
The Clause concerning bonus marks mentions the categories of candidates who will be awarded 5 bonus marks which will be added to their total score: The recipients of bonus marks are Home Guards volunteers, holders of a ‘B’, ‘C’ certificate of National Cadet Corps, children of non-gazetted police personnel of Meghalaya Police and sportspersons who have represented the State at the national level.
The High Court said that while examining the Clause, it has taken exception against providing any bonus marks to “the children of non- gazetted police personnel of Meghalaya Police” as it is difficult to find if such a categorisation has any co-relation with the merit or extra efficiency of the candidates concerned. In this regard, the senior counsel for the appellant, after taking instructions from the Department, has submitted that the Department would not be providing bonus marks to the category of children of non-gazetted police personnel of Meghalaya Police and would recast the select list accordingly.
“Having regard to the facts and circumstances of the case and after taking note of the submissions aforesaid, we are clearly of the view that this appeal also deserves to be admitted for hearing with necessary interim order so as to allow the state government to make appropriate appointments subject to the decision of this appeal”, the Court said.
‘Review reservation policy’
While staying the order of the Single Judge, the Division Bench said that it would be expected of the State Government to review its Reservation Policy in accordance with law and for the purpose of carrying out the process, pendency of the case will not be of any impediment.
Secondly, the Division Bench ordered that the appellant will appropriately finalise the selection process after recasting the select list, while adding that the bonus marks may be allowed only to other categories, Home Guards volunteers, holders of a ‘B’ or ‘C’ certificate of National Cadet Corps, and the sportspersons who have represented the state at the national level.
The Court further said that it will be open for the state government to issue the final select list and to allow the selected candidates to join but made it clear that the entire process of declaration of the select list as also appointment and joining of the candidates will remain “subject to the final decision of this appeal; and declaration of result, issuance of appointment letter or joining, by themselves, shall not confer any additional right in any person”.
The case will come up for hearing in November.