DESPITE STRONG objections by the Haryana Public Service Commission (HPSC), the Haryana government has again handed over the process of recruitment of lower court judges to a six-member selection committee comprising three judges of Punjab and Haryana High Court, Chief Secretary, Advocate General and the chairman of the commission.
After nearly a year of deliberations and objections, the preliminary examination for the selection of 114 civil judge-and-judicial magistrates will be held on July 16.
HPSC chairman Manbir Singh Bhadana confirmed Friday that the commission had objected to the move of the government several times. “We had stressed that the HPSC itself can conduct the examination. After our objections, the government agreed to get conduct the examination through the committee for one time basis only,” said Bhadana.
For the past six years, the government has been handing over the process to the selection committee but this time the HPSC said that “the commission can’t keep on giving its consent to take the recruitment out of its purview year after year”.
Haryana Chief Secretary D S Dhesi in July 2016 had informed the HPSC that the process needs to be handed over to the selection committee after amending the rules as “one time measure on the pattern of previous notifications” issued in 2011, 2012 and 2014. To amend the rules, the government had sought approval of the HPSC.
A week after this letter, the HPSC wrote back to the Chief Secretary. “The proposal is clearly contrary to the provisions contained in Article 320 (1) of the Constitution of India and hence is unconstitutional,” mentioned the commission in a letter to the Chief Secretary.
Giving reference of a previous letter of the Chief Secretary, the HPSC said, “…As per draft amendment / notification the Selection Committee shall set up the questions papers, evaluate the answer sheets and conduct the viva-voce. All the ancillary/incidental steps in respect of setting up of the questions papers and evaluation of answersheets shall be undertaken by the Selection Committee. The recruitment process such as inviting the screening the applications, issuing the roll numbers and admit cards to the candidates shall be undertaken by the Haryana Public Service Commission. This provision clearly takes away main functions of recruitment from the purview of the Commission but without giving any justification.”
Further objecting on the government move, the HPSC had said, “… This provision smacks of doubting the integrity and competence of the constitutional authority i.e. Haryana Public Service Commission regarding the setting up of the questions papers and evaluation of answersheets and conducting the viva-voce.”
Though, the government in January, 2017, issued a notification deciding to hand over the recruitment process of 114 judges to the Selection Committee. Dhesi did not reply the text message and phone call made on his mobile.
Congress MLA seeks President’s intervention
Congress MLA Karan Singh Dalal Friday held a press conference to inform that he has written a letter to the President seeking his intervention into the matter “to save the Fundamental Rights, Constitutional Bodies and The Constitution of India”. Dalal also said that 200 marks for viva vocaw for the exams appears “arbitrary and