BENGALURU: The Karnataka High Court on Wednesday refused to vacate the interim stay restraining it from issuing appointment orders to 362 candidates. These candidates were of the controversial 2011 batch who were selected for the post of gazetted probationers by the Karnataka Public Service Commission (KPSC).
A division bench of Chief Justice Subhro Kamal Mukherjee and Justice P S Dinesh Kumar pronounced the judgement while dismissing the interlocutory application filed by the candidates seeking to vacate the stay.
“This court cannot lose sight of the fact that what was challenged before the Karnataka Administrative Tribunal (KAT) was the government order dated August 14, 2014, withdrawing the recruitment process. The said order gives a clear indication that appointment was withdrawn, considering the startling revelation in the report submitted by the CID and the opinion of the Advocate General.
Having withdrawn the selection process for reasons recorded in their order, it is imperative for the government to place the material considered by them in taking a contrary stand, before this court,” the bench observed.
The interim order was passed by a division bench on April 5, 2017, restraining the government from issuing appointment orders to selected candidates. This was following public interest litigation filed by some unsuccessful candidates, including R Renukambike, drawing the attention of the court on mass malpractice in the selection process by KPSC.
“... after termination of proceedings before the KAT, the state government, has curiously taken an antithetical stand. But having taken such contrasting position, the government did not place any material before this court to demonstrate that they have had sound, valid and tenable reasons to retreat from their earlier stand,” the bench said.
According to the petition, the government learnt that there was largescale malpractices in the recruitment process of Group A and B gazetted probationers for 2011. An enquiry was conducted by the Criminal Investigation Department, which submitted a report on September 10, 2013.
The CID report revealed that the members of the KPSC demanded money from the candidates and there was largescale manipulation of marks of the candidates. Pursuant to that report, the government issued an order on August 14, 2014, directing closure of the recruitment process for 2011.
Applications were filed before the KAT challenging the said order dated August 14, 2014. The government maintained its stand before the Tribunal, saying the entire process was tainted and, therefore, selection process should be closed.
The KAT on October 19, 2016, passed the impugned order setting aside the decision of the government dated August 14, 2014, and directed the government to issue orders of appointment to successful candidates, after looking into the matter.
299km of flood-prone drains identified: BBMP
BBMP informed the High Court that it has identified 299km of drains that are prone to flooding in the city. In a report submitted before the division bench of Chief Justice Subhro Kamal Mukherjee and Justice P S Dinesh Kumar, the BBMP stated that of the 299km of drains, 159km has been remodelled and about 50km was covered to avoid mishaps during floods due to heavy rain. The remodelling work which began in 2015 is under progress, the report stated. BBMP counsel advocate K N Puttegowda submitted the report before the division bench, which is hearing a PIL filed by a city-based foundation after a nine-year-old girl was washed away in an uncovered drain after heavy rain in 2014. The bench directed the BBMP to submit a report on the progress of remodelling of drains and also whether any action has been taken against the erring people. The court adjourned the matter for four weeks.