HC dismisses petitions of Lecturers in NCCT

Delhi High Court dismissed petition of probationers/lecturers in NCCT on the grounds of irregularities committed during the recruitment process. The affected petitioners who had put in a couple of years as probationers had challenged the NCCT DG’s order terminating their jobs.

The petitioners argued that the tainted candidates must be segregated from the untainted ones and justice be done. Citing several cases of Supreme Court Justice Valmiki J Mehta ruled “issue of whether the petitioners are or are not untainted candidates is left open as the selection process is tainted in a widespread manner with illegalities going to the root of the matter and thus the selection process was rightly cancelled.

The hearing ended last month and the order was reserved on 9th March, 2017 and pronounced finally on 20th March, 2017. The common judgment was applicable to a bunch of writ petitions as the court observed petitioners in all these cases were appointed as Lecturers, and working as probationers, with National Council for Cooperative Training when their services were terminated by the impugned orders.

Based on the findings of the Enquiry Committee which found violation of established procedure in the selection process the Ministry directed NCCT to cancel the whole process of the recruitment of these lecturers.

The inquiry had revealed a large number of irregularities such as arbitrary age relaxation or teaching experience relaxation, applications without photographs (24 applicants were without photographs), no cutoff date for determination of the age limit, no separate counter to receive applications, etc.

Accordingly, the authorities were justified in cancelling the entire selection process and it is not permissible for the petitioners to argue that present is a case wherein there can be separation of tainted and untainted candidates, observed the Court.

“In view of the above, there is no merit in the petitions, and the same are therefore dismissed, leaving the parties to bear their own costs”, it concluded.

The judgment also cast aspersions on the screening committee as well as the Standing Recruitment Committee. The former comprised of Chief Director, Secretary, NCCT and Registrar, VAMNICOM. The Registrar, VAMNICOM did not attend the meetings of the screening committee.

The Standing Recruitment Committee consisted of the Chairman, NCCT, Additional Secretary & Financial Adviser, Joint Secretary (C&C), Director, Vaikunth Mehta National Institute of Cooperative Management (VAMNICOM), Ex. Prof, VAMNICOM, V.N. Rai, Ex. M.D, KRIBHCO and Director General, NCCT. Additional Secretary and Joint Secretary did not attend the meetings.

R.K. Singh, then Chief Director in the ministry who was not a member of the SRC,however, attended all the meetings of the SRC, the enquiry revealed.

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