K'taka has done flip-flop on KPSC candidates: SC

The Supreme Court on Tuesday said that the Karnataka government has made a flip-flop on the appointment of 362 gazetted probationers whose selection in the 2011 batch by the KPSC was marked by charges of irregularities.

"It was a case of a flip-flop and now flip again. As the government first withdrew the notification on the appointment, then decided to obey KAT's direction to issue appointment letters and now wanted to file a special leave petition, challenging the high court's judgement to set aside the selection process," a bench of Justices Adarsh Kumar Goel and R F Nariman said.

The court made the remarks after Additional Advocate General Devadatta Kamat submitted that a conscious decision was taken to comply with the KAT order passed on October 19, 2016, to issue appointment letters to the candidates.

Hearing a batch of petitions filed by Avinash C and other selected candidates against the high court judgement of March 9, the bench observed the court could intervene only when the state government had taken the decision to withdraw its 2011 notification on August 14, 2014, pertaining to selection of candidates, due to some extraneous reasons.

The court repeatedly pointed out that the state government's initial decision to rescind the selection process on the basis of the 2013 CID report, showing large-scale bungling, was correct.

Senior advocates V Giri, Guru Krishna Kumar, Raju Ramachandran and Sajan Poovayya, representing the candidates, put their thrust on the high court's failure to segregate the tainted ones from the untainted candidates.

They also sought to bring forth the agony of the selected candidates due to the misdemeanour of a few of them.

They also relied upon Article 311 of the Constitution, stating no member of civil services can be removed without inquiry.

"When everything is suspicious, who gave bribe who did not, it is humanly impossible to segregate. There was contamination at the source itself. It was a legally valid decision to cancel the selection process," the bench said orally.

The court also gave the example of the recent CBSE's paper leakage case saying all the students have to suffer re-examination as suspicion had arisen, though 90% of them may be innocent.

The bench also made the counsel to read the relevant paragraph of the CID's reports indicating, among others, how CCTV footages of the KPSC were destroyed to conceal meeting of the members with the candidates. The court would continue to hear the arguments on Wednesday.

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