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SC fines Haryana for not filing reply
Withdrawal of posts from HPSC purview
S.S. Negi
Legal Correspondent

New Delhi, January 3
The Supreme Court today came down heavily on the Haryana Government for ignoring its repeated directions for filing reply to a petition challenging the decision of the Congress regime to take away Class-II posts of state services from the purview of Haryana Public Service Commission (HPSC) and imposed a fine of Rs 25,000 on it.

A Bench of Chief Justice Y. K. Sabharwal and Mr Justice C. K. Thakker took serious view of the Haryana Government simply not bothering to submit the reply to a public interest litigation (PIL) on the issue in spite of repeated orders.

The PIL was filed by former HPSC Chairman L. D. Mehta and three prominent academicians from the state in 2005. The fine was imposed as litigation cost for several hearings after the notice was issued to the state.

The court gave a last opportunity to the government to submit the reply within four weeks and said that all appointments made by the state under a mechanism would be subject to the final order in the PIL.

The other three petitioners are: Dr A. K. Chawla and Brig O. P. Chaudhary, former Vice-Chancellors of Kurukshetra and Maharishi Dayanand University, Rohtak, and a former Professor, Mr Surendera Kumar Ohlayan.

They had challenged the June 15, 2005, notification, issued by the Bhupender Singh Hooda regime taking out of the purview of the HPSC all Class-II posts of the state services and a June 2, 2005, similar order regarding the appointments of Director of Pt B. D. Sharma Postgraduate Institute of Medical Sciences, Rohtak, and its lecturers in group ‘B’ Class-I and Class-II posts and the civil judges (junior division). By these orders the government had set up departmental committees to make selections to these posts.

The petitioners questioned the orders on the ground that when a constitutionally created body like the HPSC was in place, where was the need for the government to issue such notifications to curtail its powers. “The action of the government has rendered the HPSC without functions and it is violative of the provisions laid down in Articles 14, 16 and 21, 315 and 323.” The Articles deal with equality, equal opportunity in public employment, personal liberty and the functioning of public service commissions.

The public service commissions had been created in every state with a view to taking the appointments of government employees from the “clutches” of political class and bureaucrats to maintain the impartiality of the public servants, the petitioners said.

The Hooda government had reportedly taken the action in view of certain alleged irregularities committed by previous Om Prakash Chautala government in the selection of candidates for various posts during past five years and ordered an inquiry into it.

But, the petitioners said withdrawal of work from the HPSC was not the answer to the purported irregularities as the action in this regard should have been taken as per the procedure laid down under Article 317 of the Constitution, which deals with removal of the members of the Public Service Commission for any misconduct.

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