High Court junks plea to quash IAS cadre promotion select list - ECAS Punjab

High Court junks plea to quash IAS cadre promotion select list

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Saurabh Malik

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 30

The fallout of the Ravinderpal Singh Sidhu case continues. Six years after the non-tainted candidates were allowed to join as PCS (executive branch) officers, the Punjab and Haryana High Court has dismissed their plea for quashing the select list for promotion to the IAS cadre.

The list was challenged on the ground that the names of certain respondent-candidates were recommended for promotion despite the fact that they were ineligible for promotion to the IAS cadre.

The Bench was told that 28 posts of PCS (executive branch) were advertised in 1998. The petitioners, along with others, were appointed in 1999. But the services of the petitioners were terminated following the Ravinderpal Singh Sidhu scam in the Punjab Public Service Commission. In place of the petitioners, the respondent-candidates were appointed by re-conducting the examination in 2003.

Taking up the matter, Justice Raj Mohan Singh asserted the services of all the appointees were terminated in 2002. The process of cancellation was in fact upheld right up to the apex court. The benefit of joining with two-and-a-half years of past service was given to non-tainted candidates. As such, the appointment of the respondents could not be held to be beyond cadre strength or beyond the advertised posts.

Even otherwise, the selection of the private respondents was not assailed by the petitioners. They even participated in the 're-conduct examination 2003' and some of them even became successful for further nomination to the IAS (Punjab cadre).

Justice Raj Mohan Singh said the private respondents, being the appointees against substantive regular positions, were given further benefits after four, nine and 14 years of substantive service. The benefits were not assailed by the petitioners. The subsequent grant of benefits under the ACP scheme was never objected to by the petitioners.

Justice Raj Mohan Singh further added the selection having been made about 16 years ago pursuant to the 're-conduct examination 2003' could not be made nugatory by withholding further promotion of eligible candidates to the IAS (Punjab cadre). Admittedly, the petitioners did not have requisite experience under the rules. The appointments of answering respondents in 2004 could not be termed to be beyond cadre strength or not against substantive vacancies.

"The process stood completed and seven candidates have already promoted to the IAS (Punjab cadre) in the DPC held on December 27, 2018...This petition is found to be devoid of merits and is accordingly dismissed," the Bench concluded.



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