Hearing an application challenging the inclusion of a Haryana minister’s daughter in the final screening list for induction into the Indian Administrative Service from the state civil services, the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) Chandigarh bench has held the order of the screening committee as arbitrary, unconstitutional and against natural justice.
Earlier, the Tribunal had restrained the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) from finalising the candidates recommended for induction into IAS on a petition by Surender Singh Dahiya, a Haryana officer. Dahiya, who was not in the final list of five eligible candidates who were to be interviewed for induction, had challenged the screening committee’s inclusion of the name of Asha Sharma, daughter of Haryana’s Education Minister Ram Bilas Sharma. Of the five, only one was to be selected.
In its interim order on Wednesday, the CAT held that the “recommendations of the screening committee are not only arbitrary, illegal and against the principles of natural justice, but also the result of non-application of mind, and at the same time against the principles of equality as enshrined under Articles 14 and 16 of the Constitution of India.” However, the bench made it clear that the screening committee was at liberty to prepare a fresh panel of eligible candidates.
The bench said no reason was stated for “picking, choosing and recommending” the names of five selected persons, including the name of Asha Sharma, “nor a single line was written with regard to merits, to ignore the all other remaining eligible officers, in this relevant connection”.
The next hearing of the case has been scheduled for January 9, 2018. Two other officers of the state civil services, Vijender Singh and Dr Parveen Sethi, have moved applications to implead themselves in this case. The Tribunal has issued notice to Haryana government on this. The names of Singh and Sethi were also in the 16-member recommended list of officers for IAS induction. Their applications will also be heard on the next date of hearing.