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SC stays postings of 25 officers
Lower Punjab Judiciary
Legal Correspondent

New Delhi, September 22
The Supreme Court today restrained the Punjab and Haryana High Court from giving judicial postings to 25 officers appointed by the state government for lower judiciary.

Passing the stay order, a Bench headed by Chief Justice K.G. Balakrishanan issued notices to the Punjab government and the Punjab Public Services Commission on a petition filed by the Registrar of the high court. Punjab government counsel Ajay Pal opposed the stay on the appointments, upon which the apex court ruled that the 25 judicial officers should not be given postings, pending the case.

The entire marking system for the exams for years 1998, 1999, 2000 and 2001, held when Ravi Sidhu was the PPSC chairman, was doubtful as a committee appointed to go into the allegations of lapses found that different marks had been given for identical answers.

As many as 57 judicial officers were appointed in Punjab as part of the 4,000 posts filled through examination conducted by the Punjab Public Service Commission (PPSC). However, a full Bench of the Punjab and Haryana Court had terminated the services of all the 57 following the scrutiny of an FIR. This was challenged in the Supreme Court through a special leave petition by the affected officers.

The apex court remitted the case back to the high court with a directive that it forms a committee to segregate tainted and non-tainted judicial officers. A three-judge committee, comprising Justices Jasbir Singh, Ashutosh Mohanta and P.S. Garewal, that went into the issue felt that segregation was not possible and those who figured in the FIR should be terminated and the others be taken back.



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