CHENNAI: Decrying the Tamil Nadu government’s decision to drop the recruitment of salesmen to cooperative societies after they completed their interview, the Madras High Court said the act is nothing but a ‘colourable exercise of power’. A Division Bench recently ordered the authorities to release the results of the interview within two months and appoint the elected candidates before other candidates are selected.
The bench delivered the orders on writ appeals filed by eight of the candidates who appeared for the interview for recruitment in Villupuram. They attended the interview following notification of the cooperative department dated June 19, 2020. The interview was held on December 3, 2020, but the results were not published. They then approached the court seeking orders to release the results.
The State government, however, told a single-judge bench that the recruitment notification was withdrawn. Subsequently, the judge dismissed the writ petitions but with liberty to the appellants to file fresh petitions if they are affected by the decision to withdraw the notification. As such, the eight candidates challenged the order.
During the hearing, the State government told the court that the notification was withdrawn since several vacancies have arisen owing to Covid-19 and fresh recruitment will be initiated to fill them. When the entire selection process had been completed in accordance with the Co-operative Societies Act and Rules, the withdrawal of the notification/advertisement dated 19.06.2020 is not permissible, the bench said.
“The act of the respondents is nothing but colourable exercise of power. In case of increase in a number of vacancies, nothing prevented the respondents from issuing a fresh advertisement for the balance vacancies so that competent persons are allowed to participate,” the bench said.