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Posted at: Sep 15, 2018, 1:11 AM; last updated: Sep 15, 2018, 1:11 AM (IST)

Candidate entitled to Rs 5-lakh relief: HC

To be paid by Haryana Staff Selection Commission

Saurabh Malik

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 14

A decade after a physically challenged candidate for Naib Tehsildar’s post moved the Punjab and Haryana High Court, the Bench has held that he was entitled to Rs 5 lakh compensation to be paid by the Haryana Staff Selection Commission.

The order came after Justice Rajiv Narain Raina’s Bench was told that consultation between the Haryana Chief Secretary and the commission had led to a consensus that the respondents would pay Rs 5 lakh as compensation to petitioner Surender Singh, as suggested in an interim order passed in May last year.

The compensation was to be paid “on account of fault being squarely found with the working of the commission, with the financial liability falling on the commission and not on the state exchequer”.

The Bench, during the course of hearing, was told that the process of selection commenced in September 2007 and concluded in June 2008. The selection records were stated to have been destroyed on August 2, 2008, without waiting for completion of three months in view of a resolution passed by the government.

The state’s stand in a reply filed by the commission was that the government did not receive the petitioner’s name in recommendations made for appointment to Naib Tehsildar’s post. The commission categorically stated that a waiting list was not prepared when the names of successful candidates were forwarded to the department concerned.

The state’s stand was that even if a post remained unfilled, it was to be carried forward in accordance with the provisions of the Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Act, being a disability vacancy.

Justice Raina observed that there were two candidates higher in merit than the petitioner in his category, but they had not approached court. The Bench did find some substance in the contention raised by the petitioner’s counsel that appointment could be offered in certain circumstances which were not to the best advantage of the petitioner.

The Bench noted that yet, due to long passage of time beyond anyone’s control and a decade gone by, wiser course possibly to be adopted would be to avoid administrative chaos by interjection of the petitioner as Naib Tehsildar at the present stage in the cadre.

Justice Raina added that it might result in fanning avoidable litigation and disturbing the settled rights of a large number of members of service, involving rather complex issues regarding seniority, fitment and promotions.

“The via media is accepted to serve the ends of justice and the petitioner is held entitled to compensation of Rs 5 lakh, with litigation costs of Rs 50,000, to be paid by the commission to the petitioner within a month from receiving the order’s certified copy,” Justice Raina concluded.


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