HC sets aside cancellation of selection process for recruitment of cooks 

The Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court has set aside the cancellation of the selection process for recruitment to the post of cooks for hostels run by the Backward Classes, Most Backward Classes and Minorities Welfare Department.

The court was hearing a batch of petitions filed by the candidates. In 2020, a notification was issued to fill up 954 vacancies to the post of cooks for the hostels through direct recruitment, on getting approval of the Staff Committee. There are 1354 hostels.

A State level selection committee had conducted the interview. Out of the 29 districts, a total of 164 successful candidates were selected from nine districts Chennai, Vellore, Perambalur, Ariyalur, Villupuram, Tiruvarur, Nilgiris, Nagapattinam and Tenkasi. These candidates were permitted to join duty.

Subsequently, 140 successful candidates were selected from four other districts Dindigul, Ramanathapuram, Thoothukudi and Tirupattur. However, no appointment orders were issued to these candidates. The results for the remaining 16 districts were not announced.

In the meantime, the Selection Committee cancelled the entire selection process. Aggrieved over this, the candidates filed the petitions before the court.

Justice B. Pugalendhi was informed by the State government that the appointment orders were issued on a temporary basis depending upon the urgency and the necessity in the hostels. The State submitted that in some districts there were complaints from the students about the quality of food prepared by the newly appointed cooks.

Taking note of the same, the judge observed that no doubt, the welfare of the students is paramount and the complaints received from them have to be looked into. The complaint was about the quality of food prepared by the newly appointed cooks and that some of the selected candidates do not have adequate experience in cooking.

If that is the case, the court fails to understand the criteria adopted and as to how without even ascertaining the basic qualifications required for a cook, the candidates have been selected in the interview conducted by the State level selection committee, the judge said.

The judge said that the cancellation of the entire selection process was not proper, when the government is spending huge amounts of money to conduct and conclude the recruitment process, unless or otherwise it is established that the selection process suffers from serious arbitrariness or mala fide.

The court said the cancellation would cast a stigma on the selected candidates. Since the order of cancellation of the selection process was made without assigning proper reasons, the same is not sustainable, the judge said.

The judge directed the authorities to publish the entire results and said that the authorities are at liberty to assess the individual competence of the selected candidates. It is open to the authorities to explore the possibilities of providing adequate training to the selected candidates, the judge said.

Further, the judge observed that there is a lack of responsibility and accountability on the part of the selection committee, which showed a callous attitude in the selection process. The court suggested the Secretary to the Department to initiate appropriate action against the selection committee. The batch of petitions was disposed of.

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Printable version | Aug 15, 2022 1:11:32 am |