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‘Peacock’ Goyal, 6 more face job challenge
Maneesh Chhibber
Our High Court Correspondent

Chandigarh, November 9
In a significant decision, Mr Justice Mahesh Grover of the Punjab and Haryana High Court has allowed a bunch of petitions challenging appointment of seven persons as Punjab Civil Service (PCS) officers on compassionate grounds.

Among those whose appointment had been challenged was Mr Puneet Goyal, former SDM, Pathankot, who is involved in a case of alleged poaching of peacock. The other officers are Mr Rajeev Parashar, Mr Amar Pal Singh, Ms Babita, Mr Vinay Bablani, Mr Mohinder Pal and Mr Gurpreet Singh Khaira.

For Mr Goyal, this is the second major setback in less than six months. In May this year, the Punjab and Haryana High Court had directed the Punjab Government to file a charge sheet against him and other accused in the poaching case within a month. The poaching case had come to light in February 2004. He is on bail.

Four petitioners, Ms Harjeet Kaur, Dr Harish Malhotra, Mr Naresh Dubey and Mr Harjinder Pal Singh, all of them on the waiting list of the PCS released by the Punjab Public Service Commission (PPSC) in 1992, had challenged the appointment of the kin of seven senior Punjab officers who had been killed in harness during terrorism in Punjab.

The petitioners had stated that compassionate appointments could not have been made by the government in violation of rules. They pointed out that even as there was no policy in place at the time of appointment of these officers to the PCS, a subsequent policy, too did not allow for appointment of kin of officers killed by terrorists as Class I officers.

During hearing, counsel for the petitioners had stated that by appointing these persons as PCS officers, the government had deprived them of a chance to make it to the coveted job as no more posts were available. While a copy of the judgment was not available, Mr Justice Grover, while pronouncing the order, allowed all petitions.



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