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Court quashes tribunal order

Cuttack, Dec. 16: Orissa High Court has quashed an order by the State Administrative Tribunal allowing ad hoc appointment of reserved category candidates appointed in excess of quota by diversion of unreserved posts during recruitment of police constables and sepoys.

On Thursday, the order came on petitions, which had challenged the tribunal orders that allowed those appointed in excess of quota “to continue on ad hoc appointment until their regularisation against a future vacancy”.

“Treating the tribunal order as illegal, the two judge bench of Justice B.P. Das and Justice B.K. Nayak quashed the appointment made in the socially and economically backward class category beyond the 11.25 per cent quota meant for them and ordered redrawing of fresh merit list to fill up the unreserved posts that were diverted for the purpose,” petitioners’ counsel Jitendra Kumar Lenka told The Telegraph today.

“The order will be applicable for the 15.75 per cent excess quota appointment that the tribunal had allowed to continue as ad hoc appointment,” Lenka said. Senior advocate G.A. Dora argued the case for the petitioners. Around 400 candidates stand to be affected by the high court ruling.

In December 2006, the Odisha government had recruited and filled up 2,605 vacancies in the rank of sepoys in the State Armed Police Battalions and Constables in different districts.

Many job applicants in the general category challenged the process in the tribunal as it deprived general candidates of employment by using up unreserved vacancies for job aspirants in the reserved category.

The tribunal, in September 2007, invalidated the recruitment process and directed the government to redraw a fresh selection list without diverting unreserved posts for appointment of candidates in the reserved category in excess of quota.

Bar on quota

The tribunal today imposed restrictions on keeping more than 50 per cent of the posts in the reserved category while appointing candidates to the Odisha Civil Services.

Chairman of the tribunal Nityananda Prusty imposed the restrictions on a petition challenging an advertisement issued by the Odisha Public Service Commission inviting applications for the Odisha Civil Service Examination -2011 for recruitment to 364 posts and services that fall under Odisha Civil Services (Category I and II).

One Manoj Panda had challenged the advertisement as it had reserved 202 posts for scheduled caste (59), scheduled tribe (81) and socially and economically backward class (62) from among the 364 posts. Panda had sought quashing of the advertisement as more than 50 per cent posts had been earmarked for the reserved category.

Prusty, however, allowed the recruitment process to continue and issued directions for restricting appointment in the reserved category to maximum 50 per cent.

OPSC had issued the advertisement on November 17, 2011, with December 31, 2011, as the last date for receipt of applications for recruitment in the Odisha Administrative Service (30), Odisha Police Service (15), Odisha Cooperative Service (10), Odisha Revenue Service (100) and Odisha Taxation and Accounts Service (209).