The Allahabad High Court has directed the Uttar Pradesh Power Corporation Limited (UPPCL) to grant appointment to 31 chartered accountants, who were selected for the post of accounts officers in the corporation in 2005.
The court passed the order on a petition seeking directions to the UPPCL for issuing appointment letters to the petitioners and quashing a resolution of UPPCL’s Service Board in 2008, through which the said selections were cancelled.
Quashing the resolution, the court said it was arbitrary as no reasons were assigned for cancelling the selections carried out under due process. Passing the order on a petition filed by Neeraj Chaurasia and others (all chartered accountants) on Friday, a division bench of Justices Vineet Saran and Virendra Vikram Singh said: “The resolution of the respondent Board (UPPCL Service Board) dated November 3, 2008, and its approval (dated December 29, 2008) are hereby quashed. The respondents (UPPCL and UPPCL Service Board) are to appoint the petitioners for the post of accounts officers within a period of three months.”
The court rejected UPPCL’s contention that the selected candidates did not have a right to appointment just because they had been selected through written tests and interviews. The UPPCL had also argued that they had every right to cancel the appointments or alter the number of posts.
However, citing Supreme Court judgements, the court said that once a selection process was duly carried out, the recruiting authority could not reduce it to a farce by cancelling the entire process without any valid reason. Also, the court noted that there was no mention of any fault or fraud on the part of the petitioners.
Earlier, on November 12, 2004, the UPPCL’s Service Board had advertised for 11 posts of accounts officers. A list of successful candidates, including the petitioners, was published on October 19, 2005.
“The petitioners did not get appointment letters even after waiting for a reasonable time,” said Saurabh Basu, counsel for the petitioners.
Basu added that the petitioners approached the court in 2006. The court directed UPPCL to look into the matter within three months. “When UPPCL did not comply, a contempt petition was filed in 2007. The UPPCL told the court that the candidates would be intimated about appointment letters soon. But this did not happen,” he said.
“The petitioners managed to file the current petition only in February last year, after getting all the relevant documents,” said Basu.