The high court on Friday quashed the absorption of 1,347 junior engineers and assistant engineers by the state government for clearing the backlog in SC/ST vacancies.
Responding to another case, it set aside the appointment of 450 engineers in the Upper Krishna project as it was against the recruitment rules.
The high court directed the state government to make fresh appointments within a year.
A division bench headed by Justice N Kumar struck down the order of the state government which had recruited junior engineers and assistant engineers between 2003 and 2004 among SC/ST categories while filling the backlog in vacancies in the public works department (PWD), panchayat raj department and irrigation department.
A similar ruling came in 2009 when the Karnataka Administrative Tribunal (KAT) quashed the May 25, 2005 notification absorbing engineers who, till then, were working on contract basis. The KAT then asked the government to initiate a probe against the PWD secretary for undertaking such an exercise to absorb which, it viewed, was against the Supreme Court rulings.
On Friday, while striking down the absorption of engineers, the high court directed the government to initiate recruitment to the backlog vacancies and complete the process in six months with the outer limit being one year.
The court made it clear that the eligibility for applying against those backlog vacancies would be the qualification, education and age as prescribed in 2001 rules, as on the day of backlog absorption rules came into force on May 24, 2005. Only those persons who possessed the requisite qualification as on May 21, 2005 shall be considered for filling those backlog vacancies.
“All the persons absorbed or regularised are permitted to continue in service till the appointments are made in pursuance of the rules 2001,” the court ordered.
Meanwhile, the bench, after reviewing another batch of petitions, quashed the absorption of 450 engineers (300 assistant engineers and 150 junior engineers) who were till then working on contract basis in Upper Krishna project.
The court directed the state to initiate recruitment to the posts within six months from July 13 with the outer limit being one year from that date.
The eligibility for applying for these vacancies would be that all persons should possess the requisite educational qualification as well as age as on 11 February 1989, the day on which the aforesaid special rules came into force.
BDA asked for infra details in its layouts
The high court on Friday asked the Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) commissioner to furnish an additional affidavit concerning what basic infrastructure has been provided in various layouts formed by the BDA. The deadline is August 28. The court was hearing a batch of petitions challenging the acquisitions of lands towards the formation of Nadaprabhu Kempegowda Layout.
The petitions were filed by the land owners, mainly farmers, who contended that the BDA has not considered their objections for the acquisitions. In some petitions the land owners also contended that the lands are situated in the green belt area and the scheme is opposed to the section 15(4) and 17 (4) of the Karnataka Town and Country Planning Act 1961.
HC rejects state application on SIT
The high court on Friday rejected the state government’s application proposal naming additional director-general of police Bipin Gopalakrishna as the convenor of the special investigation team (SIT) constituted to conduct enquiry into the March 2 violence at City Civil Court Complex. The court had appointed director-general of police Roopak Kumar Dutta as the convener of the SIT.
The state government in its application contended that since Dutta has been given charge of additional director, CBI, by the Union ministry of home affairs, Gopalakrishna’s name can be proposed as the convener of the SIT. The high court observed that Dutta has been made the convenor on the individual capacity and then rejected the government’s application.