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Shobha worked with ‘lightning speed’ on her last day in office

B.S. Satish Kumar
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KPTCL Regulatory Affairs Director’s post filled without inviting applications

Shobha Karandlaje, who resigned as Energy Minister as well as MLA to join the Karnataka Janata Paksha of the former Chief Minister B. S. Yeddyurappa, worked with “lightning speed” on her last day of office as Minister much to the shock of KPTCL employees. Allegedly on her instance, a new top-level post of Regulatory Affairs Director was created on that day and also filled without even calling for applications or following any norms related to recruitment.

The notification dated January 21 regarding the above appointment was issued by the Energy Department on January 22 — the last day of Ms. Karandlaje in office.

According to sources, the then Company Secretary R. Sridhar was appointed Regulatory Affairs Director — a permanent post whose status is above that of the Chief Engineer.

This involves key responsibilities like handling regulatory affairs related to transmission as well as other issues related to the KPTCL and coordinating with the Karnataka Electricity Regulatory Commission.

While nobody is complaining about the creation of the above post (this was not in existence for the last 10 years), the hurried manner in which it was filled has upset a large number of senior officials in KPTCL. “This has upset the rank and files of KPTCL as several officials from within KPTCL itself would have applied for this post if applications had been invited,” a senior official in the power sector told The Hindu .

Pointing out that an elaborate recruitment process — such as prescribing eligibility norms for applicants, inviting applications and forming a search committee to choose the best candidate -— had been set in motion earlier when KPTCL filled up a similar top post a few years ago, the above official maintained that similar process should have been followed with respect to this post also.

“How can you fill a top post without even prescribing eligibility criteria or calling for applications?” another official wondered.

He also alleged that proceeding with recruitment without actually following recruitment norms would come in the way of social justice as reservation roaster has not been followed.

It is being said that some of the officials are considering the possibility of legally challenging the appointment.

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