Monday, August 26, 2002, Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

“We are punished for no fault of ours”
Prabhjot Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 25
“If the present Congress Government is ready to face the electorate again, we will happily take a retest for those remaining in service,” rue PPSC appointees facing the sack.

“If some of us are tainted so are some members of the ruling Congress government as they are facing election petitions in the Punjab and Haryana High Court. Does it mean that if there are charges of election malpractices against one MLA or the other, the entire Assembly becomes ‘tainted’. The logic which the government has been using against us in throwing us out of service in spite of our neat and clean record, demands the natural justice, should also apply to MLAs and Ministers against whom various allegations have been made publicly,” say some of the PCS (Judicial Branch) officers belonging to the 2001-02 batch now facing dismissal.

Similar views have been expressed by members of the PCS (Allied Services) facing removal from service. “If seven of the 90 officers are tainted, why punish all 90,” they ask.

“We challenge the present government to face the electorate just after six months in office and see what verdict it gets,” say judicial officers claiming that it was the present Congress Government which had after giving a clarification to the Punjab and Haryana High Court in March given them appointment letters.

“With what logic the government has been asking all PPSC appointees to take the test again. Most of us after a lot of struggle, hard work and with good academic record got to the positions we held, are now asked to move back to a point when we were young, single and jobless to give that performance again. It is neither possible for us nor for the present Congress Government to get the same mandate again.

“Tell us what is our guilt. Why we are being shown the door? You did not give us a hearing. You did not allow the judicial or legal process to be completed. You have painted us tainted. You have made us look small in the eyes of the immediate society we move in. It is what our future generation should look forward to — work hard, get a job and then get sacked for no fault, no hearing and nothing,” said one of them.

As many as 40 of the PCS (Judicial Branch) and PCS (Allied Services) officers facing removal following orders issued by the government on Raksha Bandhan day trooped in to The Tribune office carrying certificates to prove their credentials that none of them figured in any “tainted list” issued by the Vigilance Bureau or the government.

Among the judicial officers, three of them — Mr G.S. Sekhon, Mr T.S. Bindra and Ms Parveen Bali — who were put on waiting list in the 1998 selection are still awaiting the outcome of their writ petition. Mr Sekhon is a first class LL.B. and also holds LL.M.

Ms Manisha Jain, a gold medallist in B.Com and a topper in B.L. has been thrice selected for IAS main and spurned a job offer from Rajasthan as Judicial Officer before her present selection in Punjab. In 1998, she appeared in the interview for both PCS/HCS (Executive Branch).

Ms Parveen Bali, who has been elected twice to PCS (Judicial) continues to be without a job. In fact, she was put on the waiting list in 1998, selected in 1999 and again in 2001. “I have spent money in fighting for my rights but still got no justice. It is third time I got through and I am being sent home for nothing,” rues Ms Bali.

Mr Sekhon, Mr Bindra and a few others said that they had good practice before they got in PCS (Judicial) but are back in road with a “big blot on our face”. “We have no face to show to society. Everyone thinks that we are tainted. We want this stigma to go,” they said.

The PCS (Allied Services) officers have been echoing the same sentiments. Among those facing the axe are Major Sarabjit Singh (ex-serviceman), Ms Anjuli Janjua (a gold medallist in MA-Psychology and who had cleared both UGC and SLET), Dr Akashdeep Sandhu (MBBS from Amritsar and who had cleared IAS main exam), Ms Manpreet Kaur (B.Sc. gold medallist, cleared IAS main), Mr Rajinder Goel (MBBS, MS), Ms Deepshikha Mehta (MA Psychology and MJMC), Mr Karanjit Singh (gold medallist in LL.M. and LL.B.topper), Ms Anupnta Johal (gold medallist in BA Hons, MBA with 10 years experience in corporate sector), Mr Yadwinder Singh Sandhu (served as DSP Prisons in Punjab for six years), Mr Nirmal Singh (appeared in the IAS interview twice and worked as lecturer for 14 years), Mr Gurdev Singh (double MA, cleared UGC, IAS main twice), Mr Jatinder Singh Sagoo (B.E., TIET, MBA), Dr Rajinder Gupta (BDS, selected in IAS allied — Customs and Central Excise), Mr Manish Markan (BE, MBA, selected in IAS allied), Capt Gaurav Duggal (B.Sc., MBA), Mr Ram Tirath Singh and Mr Dinesh Singh (both MA, M.Phil).

Then there is Ms Monica Sharma, who compelled by family circumstances had to withdraw from college and did her B.A. and M.A. as a part-time student to support the family. She cleared the IAS (main) last year and is appearing for it again this year.

They all maintained that they all came from low middle and middle class families and could not afford either a bribe or a “sifarish” big enough to get them a PCS job. Why was the government doing this to all of us? We have struggled, worked hard and are mostly self made people. What message does the government want to give by setting this wrong precedent of punishing innocent and helpless?” they asked.

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