HC quashes appointment of Goa Shipyard director

New Delhi, Jan 25 | Updated: Jan 26 2005, 05:30am hrs
The Delhi High Court has quashed the appointment of R B Prabhavakar as director (operations) of Goa Shipyard and directed that the entire exercise be conducted afresh.

The order came from Justice Manmohan Sarin on a petition by the shipyards chief general manager S K Mutreja, who was adjudged the most meritorious candidate by Public Enterprise Selection Board (PESB) during NDA regime.

His case was sent to the then prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee for final approval in February last year.

But the matter was reprocessed after theUnited Progressive Alliance government came to power and the petitioner was denied the top post on the ground that his name figured in doubtful integrity list of officers and was under surveillance of CBI and Central Vigilance Commissioner.

But after perusing the records of Appointments Committee of Cabinet proceedings, the court set aside the governments September 22, 2004 order by which Prabhavakar was made Goa Shipyards director (operations).

The court directed the government to correct the error with regard to his not falling in the list of doubtful integrity category and report the factual position of his being kept just under surveillance. The court felt that the surveillance thing could not be held against him as it did not lead to registration of cases or any other action.

Observing that the fact of mutreja not having figured in doubtful integrity case list was a relevant factor, Justice Sarin said, it is entirely for ACC to take a decision, considering all relevant factors and the weightage to be accorded to them.

The court also took note of the fact that the government had accepted the recommendations of parliamentary committee on public undertakings, which said for efficient functioning of PSES, preference should be given to candidates from within the undertaking so long as competent persons are available and the appointment of officers of the organised services to the posts of chief executives should be avoided.