Probe why lab assistant posts not filled, says HP High Court

Principal Secy, Health, directed to fix responsibility | Staff selection panel ordered to suggest three names

Probe why lab assistant posts not filled, says HP High Court

Photo for representational purpose only. - File photo

Vijay Arora

Shimla, July 21

The HP High Court has taken serious note of the office of the Director Health Services not taking timely steps to fill three posts of lab assistant (Allopathy) and directed the Principal Secretary (Health) to conduct an inquiry into the matter and fix the responsibility of the erring officials/ officers, irrespective of their rank(s) and profile(s).

While passing the order, a division Bench comprising Justice Tarlok Singh Chauhan and Justice Satyen Vaidya observed that “the instant case depicts the sordid, despotic and nepotic functioning of the office of the Director Health where despite there being three vacancies, no steps were taken to fill the posts from the waiting list.

The court passed the judgment on a petition filed by Varun Dhiman, who contended that on September 4, 2017, the Director Health sent a requisition to the State Subordinate Staff Selection Commission for filling the vacant posts of Laboratory Assistant.

Pursuant to the requisition, the commission recommended 102 candidates, who were offered appointment on June 21, 2019. However, 22 of the 102 candidates did not join duty. Thereafter, the Director Health again requested the commission to recommend the names of 22 more candidates from the waiting list. The commission recommended the names of 22 candidates, who were offered appointment on November 23, 2019. However, once again, three of the 22 candidates did not join duty.

The commission was again requested on July 14, 2020, to sponsor the names of the eligible candidates from the waiting panel. This time, the commission turned down the request of the Director Health saying that as per the rules, the life of the waiting panel was one year from the date of the recommendations. It was contended that the officials of the Director Health office did not take any steps between November 23, 2019, and July 14, 2020, to fill the three posts of lab assistant and ultimately the commission rejected the request on the ground of the limited life of the waiting panel.

While allowing the petition, the court directed the commission to sponsor the names of three candidates, including the petitioner, within a week and on such sponsorship and further the Director Health would issue the appointment order(s) to the petitioner and two others as laboratory assistant (Allopathy) on a contractual basis.

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