HC stays appointment process of vehicle inspectors

Vacancies reduced at the behest of transport minister

 The High Court of Karnataka has stayed the appointment process for the posts of motor vehicle inspectors following a petition by a job aspirant.

Kamble Satish Kumar had approached the Court alleging that the number of posts for which the applications were invited had been reduced — not with the approval of the Cabinet — but at the instance of the transport minister.

Kumar, a Schedule Caste candidate, had applied for the job under the quota for project-displaced persons.

According to the petitioner, the government had invited applications for recruitment of 245 inspectors, but later reduced the number of available posts by 100. It is alleged that the then-transport minister Cheluvarayaswamy curtailed the number of posts in August 2006, while the present minister, R Ashoka, acted in a similar manner by recruiting some candidates who were working in other government departments.

The petition reveals that according to a reply furnished in response to a query under the Right to Information Act, 193 posts still remained vacant  even after 145 candidates were selected, since the Transport department had sanctioned more than 423 posts.

“Even though a communication is said to have been issued on August 24, 2006, cancelling 100 posts, this was not acted upon by each one concerned at all levels and legally no effect was given,” the petition states.

It further alleges that procedures prescribed under the Karnataka Civil Service Rules, 1977, and Karnataka Government Transaction of Business Rules, 1977 were not followed during the recruitment.

The petitioner, while seeking a stay on the appointment of  motor vehicle inspectors, claimed that it was highly untenable and illegal on the part of the transport commissioner to contend on the one hand that there were no vacancies (and consequently reduce the vacancies), and on the other appoint personnel through ‘backdoor entry’, against the very same vacancies which were illegally reduced.

The Division Bench comprising Justices B Sreedhar Rao and Suri Appa Rao have stayed the appointment process.

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