TN govt to form recruitment board for cooperative societies in three months

Pointing out that without any revalidation, such a list would automatically lapse after six months, the judge wondered how the authorities relied on the list for the selection process.

Published: 30th March 2023 08:33 AM  |   Last Updated: 30th March 2023 08:33 AM   |  A+A-

Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court

Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court

Express News Service

MADURAI:  The Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court on Wednesday directed the Tamil Nadu government to constitute a recruitment board for the centralised recruitment of personnel for common cadre posts of all cooperative societies in the state.

Justice M Dhandapani directed the principal secretary of the animal husbandry, fisheries and dairy development department to constitute a board within three months, and ruled that no appointments should be made in cooperative societies till the formation of such a board.

The judge passed the order while dismissing a batch of petitions filed by several people in 2022, whose appointment in the District Co-operative Milk Producers Unions (DCMPU) --- commonly known as 'Aavin' --- in various districts, was cancelled by the government on the ground that the appointments were made without following the cadre strength, employees special bylaws, and provisions of the Tamil Nadu Cooperative Societies Act and the Rules.

According to the order, the appointments had been made in 2021 based on a list obtained from the employment exchange several months before the recruitment notification, which was issued in November 2019. Pointing out that without any revalidation, such a list would automatically lapse after six months, the judge wondered how the authorities relied on the list for the selection process.

He also found force in the objections raised by the additional advocate general about the conduct of the written examination for recruitment in a college which was not among the list of approved centres. The college management too failed to submit the OMR sheets connected with the examination during the inquiry, which also raised doubts about whether the examination was conducted, the judge added.

"Time and again, appointments made to cooperative societies, more specifically Aavin, had cropped up before this court only for this court to find out that the society, unmindful of the bylaws and the other provisions of law, commit irregularities in the appointment, which has been interfered with by this court.

The above scenario more often occurs at the fag end of the period when elections are to fall due at which time, persons, such as the petitioners, are lured by way of appointments in the societies, only to be thrown away at a later stage if the power switches hands," Justice Dhandapani said. The unbridled powers at the hands of cooperative societies in the matter of recruitment or appointment paves the way for such illegal acts which in turn results in grave injustice being caused to the persons who are recruited in this manner, the judge said.

"If brought within the umbrella of an entity like the Tamil Nadu Public Service Commission/Teachers Recruitment Board, not only the process would be open to the public and would have a wider coverage about applicants applying for the posts, but would also ensure transparency and put an end to the commissioners acting as puppets at the hands of their political masters," the judge added.

Castigating the commissioner of milk production and dairy development department for initially granting approval to the appointment without application of mind and later ordering inquiry following complaints, the judge also directed the secretary to initiate disciplinary action against the commissioner and general managers of cooperative societies where such irregularities had taken place.

To protect the interest of the petitioners, who suffered due to the actions of the authorities, at least to some extent, the judge told the director of the employment and training department to restore the petitioners' seniority in the employment exchange.

India Matters


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