KPSC irregularities: ‘Govt. can act only against tainted candidates’

The Karnataka State Administrative Tribunal on Wednesday said that the State government could act only against “tainted” persons among the candidates selected to the 362 posts of Gazetted Probationers in Group A and B after holding an inquiry as per the law.

It has, however, no power to annul the selection of all the candidates by cancelling the process of selection.

The government, the tribunal said, could not have considered the interim reports of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) on the allegations of irregularities and corruption in the Karnataka Public Service Commission (KPSC) in the selection process as neither the CID examined the selected candidates nor its reports were supplied to the candidates and the KPSC. “The CID report is one-sided,” said the tribunal.

The tribunal also held that the government, under the Karnataka Gazetted Probationers (Appointment by Competitive Examination) Rules, 1997, had no power to withdraw the authorisation given to the KPSC to select candidates to these posts by exercising the power under Section 21 of the General Clauses Act to annul the selection process.

While quoting several verdicts of the Supreme Court, the tribunal said that the only option before the government, after the KPSC submitted the final list of candidates selected to these posts, was to initiate a probe as per the law to ascertain the allegations levelled against the selection authority and the process of selection, and segregate the “tainted candidates” and the “non-tainted candidates.”

And, based on the outcome of such a probe and a process of verification of candidates, the order of appointment to the government service should be issued only to the “non-tainted” candidates from the list of selected candidates.

Pointing out that the State government had not undertaken any exercise to segregate “tainted candidates” and “non-tainted candidates”, the tribunal said that the State government ought to have followed the power given to it under Rule 11(3) of the KGP Rules, 1997 to hold an enquiry and verification to ascertain suitability of the candidates for appointment.

Also, the tribunal said that the government had ignored the independent constitutional status of the KPSC under Article 320 of the Constitution in interfering with the selection process as it was mandatory on the government to consider the selection list submitted by the KPSC as per rules.

“The government has no power to meddle with the recruitment process dehors the recruitment rules...,” the tribunal said while reserving the liberty to the government to initiate action under Rule 11(3) if any individual candidate, of the 362 selected one, is not found suitable for appointment. According to sources in the Chief Minister’s office, the State government may challenge the tribunal’s ruling.

The government’s action “is highly outrageous in its defiance of logic and of accepted moral standards giving an impression that the authorities have taken leave of their senses”

The State government can initiate a probe as per law to ascertain the allegations levelled against the selection authority

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Printable version | Jan 24, 2021 2:27:40 AM |

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