Setting aside an order of the Tamil Nadu Public Service Commission (TNPSC) cancelling the appointment of a serving civil judge, the Madras High Court has said that it is hopeful the Commission will amend a clause in its information bulletin suitably fixing a time limit for initiating such action.
Allowing a petition by the civil Judge challenging the Commission order, a Division Bench, comprising Justices Elipe Dharma Rao and K.K. Sasidharan, said it was unable to understand the logic behind initiating proceedings after eight years.
It said just because clause 11 (f) did not contemplate any time factor for initiating such proceedings, it did not mean that the Commission could act upon after a lapse of years.
The petitioner, S. Elangovan, was appointed through direct recruitment as civil judge and joined duty on March 2, 1998.
While working as Judicial Magistrate, the TNPSC issued a show-cause notice in December 1999 asking him to explain why his selection should not be cancelled for suppressing material information in the application form for appointment.
The Commission alleged that he was involved in malpractice in B.L. degree examination in April 1982. He was debarred for a year and allowed to take the examination in April 1983. This fact was not disclosed in the application.
By an order of November 20, 2006, the TNPSC cancelled his appointment as civil judge (Junior Division/Judicial Magistrate) First Class and debarred him for a year from appearing for any of the Commission's future examinations/selections.
The Bench said documents would prove that the petitioner had not indulged in malpractices such as copying. The charge against him was that he had joined three others in shouting at the Chief Superintendent and the Invigilator. He was not debarred or disqualified. He was permitted to write the next examination as the examination for the day had been cancelled.
When the petitioner had not been debarred or disqualified, there was no question of giving a positive answer in the application form for appointment.