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Wednesday, February 24, 2016

उत्तर प्रदेश राज्य सूचना आयुक्तों के चयन पर सवाल

उत्तर प्रदेश राज्य सूचना आयुक्तों के चयन पर सवाल।

सरकार को चयन प्रक्रिया से सम्बंधित हलफनामा दाखिल करने का आदेश

HIGH COURT OF JUDICATURE AT ALLAHABAD, LUCKNOW BENCH

Court No. - 4

Case :- MISC. BENCH No. - 67 of 2014

Petitioner :- Amitabh Thakur
Respondent :- State Of U.P.Thr.Prin.Secy.Administrative Reforms Deptt.Lko.
Counsel for Petitioner :- Asok Pande,Tripuresh Tripathi
Counsel for Respondent :- C.S.C.

Hon'ble Amreshwar Pratap Sahi,J.
Hon'ble Attau Rahman Masoodi,J.
Heard Sri Asok Pande, learned counsel for the petitioner.
We have heard the matter at length and we have also been assisted by Ms. Bulbul Godiyal, learned Additional Chief Standing Counsel with the records.
The records placed before us indicate that the application of the petitioner Sri Amitabh Takur was moved through the department as he was an inter-department candidate and it was placed before the Screening Committee. In para 10 of the counter affidavit dated 4.3.2014 sworn by Sri Rakeh Kumar, Joint Secretary, Administrative Reforms, Government of Uttar Pradeh, it has been categorically stated that the applications were scrutinized and those applications which did not have the bank draft annexed were found incomplete. Further the said paragraph states that the name of the petitioner was recommended by the Screening Committee.
The document which records the said screening clearly recites that 649 applications had been received, out of which 644 were found to be in order and 5 applications were incomplete. The name of the petitioner does not find place in the list of incomplete applications.
The docket which was prepared which is in the shape of a broad sheet reflecting the candidatures of the applicants to be placed before the Recommending Committee also indicates that the application of the petitioner was received inter-departmentally.
Later on another affidavit captioned as a supplementary counter affidavit dated 6.5.2014 sworn by Mr. Parshuram Prasad, Special Secretary, Administrative Reforms has been filed and in paragraph 6 of the said affidavit it has been stated that the application of the petitioner was forwarded from his parent department through the letter dated 20.9.2013 but was received after the prescribed date on 23.9.2013 in the Administrative Reforms Department. As such, the application of the petitioner was not acceptable after 21 days keeping in view the conditions laid down in para 5 of the advertisement dated 14.8.2013.
The aforesaid facts, therefore, clearly reflect a contradiction on the averments made in both the affidavits with regard to the receipt and placement of the application of the petitioner.
Not only this, the learned Additional Advocate General further contends that all 644 applications were placed before the Statutory Committee empowered to make recommendations and, therefore, the claim of the petitioner appears to have been considered at the time of making recommendations.
The contradiction as pointed out hereinabove in the two affidavits, therefore, calls for an explanation from the Principal Secretary, Administrative Reforms through his personal affidavit that if the stand taken in the affidavit dated 6.5.2014 is correct then in what manner and how do the respondents claim that the candidature of the petitioner had been placed for consideration.
There is yet another aspect which deserves mention, namely, the stating of facts about consideration in the meeting dated 31.12.2013. The said meeting as recorded indicates that all applications were placed for consideration and eight names were recommended thereafter and against each recommendation those facts have been stated which according to the learned Additional Advocate General is in compliance of paragraph 32(v) of the judgment in the case of Namit Kumar Sharma Vs. Union of India, 2013 (1) SCC Page 475.
The question that has been raised on behalf of the petitioner is that such recommendation does not consider the eminence of the other candidates nor any reasons appear to be on record as to why their eminence comparatively was considered to be lesser or lower than those who have been recommended. It is also the contention of the petitioner that the 644 applications have been considered by the Committee of three persons, but there does not appear to be any indication of any facts been stated relating to the field of eminence of the other candidates.
Apart from this, Sri Asok Pande, learned counsel for the petitioner, has advanced his submissions to the following effect :-
"1. The respondents failed to inform the petitioner or tender any material as to how such recommendations were considered and in the absence of any such exercise the same is violative of Article 14 of the Constitution of India.
2. Secondly, he contends that the application has been invited through an advertisement and if there had been no advertisement probably there would have been no occasion or necessity to spell out any procedure, but once an advertisement has been published and applications have been invited then all executing procedure should be fully laid down in order to ensure that the selections have been done fairly on a reasonable consideration.
3. Thirdly, he contends that the "doctrine of pleasure" is not attracted, inasmuch as, the statutory provision of selection and removal of members is provided for under the Act and, therefore, it can be done only under the provisions of the Act, hence there has to be a reasonable procedure for selection. The manner of screening of candidates by a reasonable procedure, therefore, has to follow which may either be by way of any written examination or interview or both.
4. He submits that this is necessary in order to enable the candidates to know the reason for his non-selection which clearly amounts to rejection. Further it is also necessary to know as to how those eight persons who have been selected were better candidates as compared to the petitioner or those who have not been selected."
Having considered the submissions raised, we find it necessary that the affidavit deserves to be filed by the State keeping in view what has been noted by us hereinabove as the learned Additional Advocate General disputes these propositions on the ground that the requirement of law is not for any comparative assessment and to the contrary the field of eminence having been indicated and the records indicating such considerations, there is no error in the procedure adopted.
While filing the affidavit the respondents shall also indicate that if the meeting on 31.12.2013 began at 11.00 A.M. as per the proposals on record, then within what time were all the 644 applications considered by the Recommending Body. We find that the recommendations have been made on the same date. It would, therefore, be necessary to understand as to how the 644 applications together with their details of eminence were scrutinized and considered for the purpose of assessment of eminence in the respective field as mentioned in the statute itself on the same day itself.
Let the said affidavit be filed by the next date fixed.
List on 4.3.2016.
The original records which have been produced are being returned to the learned Additional Advocate General and in case so required they shall be summoned again.
Order Date :- 24.2.2016
Anand Sri./-