NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Monday refused to stay the Madras High Court order quashing the appointments of 11 members of the Tamil Nadu Public Service Commission (TNPSC). While hearing the appeal by one of the affected members, the court said the service commissions should have credibility, its members should be outstanding and should inspire confidence for the sake of good governance.
“The members who select persons for all services, including Class-1 officers, should have unimpeachable integrity and should be reasonably qualified,” a Bench headed by Chief Justice J S Khehar said.
The Bench questioned the State government for appointing a person found unfit to continue as a district judge as a PSC member and said that the High Court had rightly pointed out that the 11 appointments had been made in haste by considering their cases in a day.
Appearing for the State government, Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi said the late chief minister J Jayalalithaa had made the recommendations in January 2016 and the Governor accepted them the same day.
The Bench said it was inconceivable that everything from searching, screening and police verification could be completed in one day for all the 11. Former district judge V Ramamurthy, R Pratap Kumar, V Subburaj, S Muthuraj, M Sethuraaman, A V Balusamy, M Madasamy, P Krishna Kumar, A Subramanian, N B Punniamoorthi and M Raja Ram IAS were appointed as members of the TNPSC.
The Attorney General submitted that with the High Court order, 11 out of the 14 members are out and two members of the TNPSC are retiring in two to three months.
The Madras High Court had passed the order on a batch of petitions, including one by T K S Elangovan, the DMK Rajya Sabha MP and party propoganda secretary, challenging the appointment of these 11 members in a hurried manner by the AIADMK government.
The vacancies for the posts had arisen from 2013, when members had completed their tenure and demitted office and the last one doing so was on January 31, 2016.
Following the submission from P Wilson, the senior counsel for TKS Elangovan, before the three-member bench headed by the Chief Justice of India, the Bench said that the Tamil Nadu government may go in for fresh appointment of the members for the TN Public Service Commission.
In any case, the candidature of Ramamurthy, the retired district judge, who had been rendered unfit to hold any post after retirement by the First Bench of the Madras High Court, should not be considered at all, the Supreme Court Bench added.