KPSC: Karnataka High Court quashes KAT’s posting order

Bengaluru: In a judgement of far-reaching consequences and a huge setback to both the state government and successful candidates of 2011 batch of Karnataka Public Service Commission (KPSC), the High Court on Monday quashed the Karnataka State Administrative Tribunal (KAT) order directing the state government to issue appointment orders to 362 candidates for the posts of gazetted probationary officers.

A division bench headed by Justice H.G. Ramesh passed the order on a batch of petitions filed by Renukambike R. and others, some of whom were unsuccessful candidates for the posts. 

The petitioners contended that KAT ordered the government to go ahead with the appointments despite large-scale irregularities in the selection process, in which KPSC members were involved.

The petitioners had also questioned the government's stand in the matter, contending it was the government which conducted a CID investigation and found mass malpractices in the selection process. Despite this, it was blindly following KAT's orders. 

In 2014, the state government issued a notification withdrawing the recruitment notification for gazetted probationary posts, issued in 2011 following corruption in the selection process. But on March 17, 2017, based on the KAT decision, the government began the administrative process to appoint the 362 gazetted probationary officers.

The High Court bench observed that some of the candidates were given uniform marks by the KPSC panel members. The bench also observed that the investigation report states that the digital video recorder that had been installed had been changed before the CID investigation to erase all records of malpractice.The court further stated that the government was right in withdrawing the recruitment notification. However, the KAT order quashing the government's withdrawal notification and directing the state government to issue the appointment orders to the selected candidates is unsustainable in law, it said.

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