Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, December 10
In all, posting orders have been issued to 17 officers. It is believed some of the officers have during the period got selected elsewhere.
Appointed during the tenure of PPSC chairman Ravinderpal Singh Sidhu, the termination of their services was recommended by the Full Court way back in August 2002 after the unearthing of the alleged Punjab Public Service Commission (PPSC) scam.
But the service termination orders of the petitioner-officers belonging to the 1998, 1999 and 2000 batches were reversed on the judicial side by the high court itself.
The posting orders came nearly three months after the Supreme Court dismissed even the review petition filed by the high court against its own orders passed on the judicial side. Available information suggests, the high court, in the interregnum, even considered the feasibility of moving the Supreme Court again by filing a curative petition.
The Punjab and Haryana High Court’s Full Court, in a meeting held on May 25, 2002, had passed a resolution, constituting a committee of four judges "in light ofthe disturbing reports appearing in the print and the electronic media, containing allegations against certain judges of this court and their wards”. The committee observed that the awards given to them could not be justified. On August 12, 2002, the Full Court accepted the committee’s report and recommended the service termination of the officers belonging to all four batches. Taking up the matter on the judicial side, a three-judge Bench of the HC ordered the reinstatement of the petitioner-officers.
The Bench, comprising then Chief Justice Vijender Jain, Justice HS Bhalla and Justice Rajesh Bindal, had ruled: “The petitioners in respect of 1998, 1999 and 2000 batches are ordered to be reinstated.”
Speaking for the Bench, Justice Bhalla ruled: “There is nothing on record which could spell out that the entire selection process of the 1998 batch was vitiated on account of malafides of biasness… It is ipso facto (by the fact itself) clear that even after boarding a sinking ship, the petitioners have been able to sail through the stormy winds raised by the committee of judges of this court on the administrative side on the platform of suspicion. As such, the bread of the petitioners is required to be revved on the judicial side”.
Soon after the passing of the orders on the judicial side, the high court on the administrative side decided to move the apex court against the directions.
Deciding on March 18 special leave petition filed by the high court, the three-judge Bench of Justice Deepak Verma, Justice BS Chauhan and Justice KS Radhakrishnan refused to overturn the orders. In response, the high court again moved the apex court for review. Taking up the review petitions, the same Bench of the Supreme Court asserted: “Having gone through the review petitions and the connected papers, we do not find any ground to review the order. The review petitions are accordingly dismissed”.
March 25, 2002: Ravinder Paul Singh Sidhu arrested
May 25, 2002: Full Court passes resolution to constitute a committee of four judges to look into PSC (J) selections
August 12, 2002: Full Court accepts report, recommends service termination
May 27, 2010: Full Bench reverses the orders
March 18, 2010: Supreme Court dismisses SLP