SC okay with state withdrawing order on KPSC appointments

NEW DELHI, DHNS: The Supreme Court on Tuesday refused to stay any proposed action by the Karnataka government on 362 candidates whose selection by the KPSC in the 2011 batch has been set aside by the high court.

However, a bench of Justices Adarsh Kumar Goel and R F Nariman said any action, if taken by the state government, would be subject to the outcome of the apex court’s final order.

The court apparently found nothing wrong in withdrawing notification for appointment on the basis of an inquiry report, indicating irregularities in the process.

“If the government withdraws its requisition on the basis of suspicion, can anyone claim appointment as a matter of right? See the investigation report, after all, these candidates are going to be a major part of the governance. The administrative decision taken by the government can be questioned only if it is arbitrary and mala fide exercise of power,” the bench said.

The top court was hearing a batch of special leave petitions filed by a group of candidates, challenging the high court’s judgement of March 9, which had quashed the directions issued by the Karnataka Administrative Tribunal on October 19, 2016, to issue appointment letters to them.

Senior advocates V Giri, Raju Ramachandran and Guru Krishna Kumar, representing the candidates, contended that the high court had failed to segregate the tainted ones from the selection list for the post of a gazetted probationer in Group A and B services.

The high court acted on a writ petition filed by unsuccessful candidates, they pointed out.

They argued that the state government could not have withdrawn its 2011 notification on August 14, 2014, the basis of the 2013 CID report, when the whole selection process was complete.

The counsel claimed only a few candidates were found to be in touch with the KPSC members. “On that basis, the whole process cannot be suspect,” they submitted.

Ramachandran contended that the state government had accepted the KAT’s decision and did not prefer an appeal.

DECCAN HERALD COURTESY

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