CHANDIGARH: The Punjab and Haryana high court on Saturday quashed the Punjab government’s decision to cancel the process for recruiting 527 jail warders and ordered it to start the procedure again.
Justice Daya Chaudhary passed these orders while allowing a bunch of petitions that challenged the state government’s June 5, 2014, decision to cancel the recruitment process. The court asked the state government to initiate the process according to the instructions it issued for the recruitments in an October 2011 advertisement.
The recruitment process was cancelled after the physical test of eligible candidateshad been completed. The state government had earlier informed the court that the recruitment process had been cancelled because of irregularities in it.
The process was cancelled on recommendations by IPS officer Kunwar Vijay Partap Singh. He had conducted a probe and recommended that recruitment rules be amended and a higher qualification be kept for the post of jail warder. He had suggested increasing the existing educational qualification from middle-school pass to matriculation, and reducing the upper age limit from 37 to 25. Following this, the existing recruitment process was cancelled midway.
The counsels for petitioners pleaded that untainted candidates must not be punished for fault of other candidates and officers of the selection committees, and that the amendment of rules had rendered them ineligible for recruitment. They argued that existing recruitment process should be resumed and completed.
The HC bench of Justice Chaudhary, while allowing the writ petitions, orally observed that detailed directions were being given separately for conducting and completing the fresh recruitment process of only those around 27,800 candidates who were earlier found eligible, and to complete the fresh process within a period of four months.