The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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HC relief for job seekers

Calcutta, July 7: Calcutta High Court today held that candidates who are not sponsored by an employment exchange also have the right to appear for interviews for posts in government offices.

The ruling of the five-judge special bench virtually challenges the government's policy of recruiting people only through an employment exchange. It also raises questions about the need for employment exchanges.

The chief justice had constituted the bench of Justices Ashok Kumar Ganguly, Alok Chakraborty, D.K. Seth, P.K. Samanta and S.K. Gupta, after judges of Calcutta High Court differed on the issue.

The right of candidates to appear for job interviews even if they are not registered at any employment exchange has been much debated.

The Supreme Court had recently ruled that even government establishments would have to publish advertisements in papers so that people get the opportunity to appear for interviews, recalled Rabi Shankar Chatterjee, an advocate of the court.

Earlier, Justice S.B. Sinha of Calcutta High Court had held that the government offices had the right to call for interviews only those candidates whose are sponsored by employment exchanges.

'But after the order of the Supreme Court was passed, Justice Jyotirmoy Bhattacharya of Calcutta High Court, while disposing a petition over the appointment issue, first observed that any eligible candidate had the right to appear before the interview board in the government sector,' said Chatterjee.

The advocate said Justice Indira Banerjee, another judge of the high court, had disposed of several similar petitions on the basis of the views taken by Justice Bhattacharya. However, her colleague, Justice Jayanta Biswas, was disposing similar petitions on the basis of the judgment passed by Justice Sinha.

Different opinions of two different judges of the same court had been creating problems in the legal circle and in government offices.

To find a solution, Justice Biswas then referred the issue to Chief Justice V.S. Sirpurkar. Justice Sirpurkar constituted the five-judge bench to settle the issue.

The ruling of the special bench has put the Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee government into distress as it pays special attention to the activity of the employment exchanges.

Government counsels said today they would appeal against the order in the apex court, though several city lawyers welcomed the ruling.

'At least practice of the CPM to sends their own cadres' names in the government offices for jobs in different posts will be checked by the ruling,' said Uttam Majumdar, an advocate.

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