Six aspiring policemen won a nine-year legal battle at the Karnataka Administrative Tribunal, but a High Court verdict, delivered six years later, has overruled that order and doused their job hopes.
The candidates were declared medically unfit in 2000, but following a KAT order, underwent tests nine years later, and declared fit, prompting the tribunal to order the government to hire them. The government appealed against that verdict.
The High Court has now declared that the KAT erred by allowing them to undergo medical tests nine years after their initial medical tests.
On December 8, 2000, M P Sunil Kumar, P Lokesh, N Jagadish, S Shivanna, V Govinda and C A Raju were referred by the District Employment Exchange for recruitment as reserve police constables.
On February 16, 2001 they were selected and asked to undergo medical tests. They failed, and could not make it to the 3rd Battalion of the Karnataka State Reserve Police.
They challenged the decision before the KAT in 2002, which took nine years to allow a second round of medical tests in 2011.
The Chairman of the Medical Board, Jayanagar General Hospital, Bangalore, certified them as conforming to the stitupalted physical standards of the KSRP.
Based on the report, the tribunal directed the KSRP to hire them and give them all consequential benefits, except back wages.
The KSRP challenged the order in the High Court, contending that the tribunal had erred by referring the candidates for medical tests after such a long time, since their physique would have changed.
If the candidates had doubts about their medical reports in 2000, they should have given a representation immediately, the KSRP contended. After nine years, their bodies will have changed for better or worse, the government advocate said.
A division bench comprising Justice K L Manjunath and Justice Ravi Malimath agreed that the tribunal had committed a grave error by allowing the petitions because the candidates had not been sent for medical examination after the KSRP dropped their names from its final list.
If the candidates were not satisfied with the report submitted by the doctors, they should have sought a second round of medical tests immediately.
The bench set aside the KAT order and rejected the application filed by the candidates.