Decided on June 03,2003



- (1.) BY Ext. P1 notification dated 24. 09. 2001, the petitioner, a Service Cooperative Bank, had invited applications for appointment to an existing vacancy of salesman. It had been indicated that selection would be on the basis of a written test and interview. The post has been reserved to be filled up by member of a Scheduled Caste. The averments in the Original Petition indicate that a test had been held, but before the appointment could be made a stay had been issued by the Joint Registrar of Cooperative Societies, Kollam.
(2.) THE petitioner had challenged the orders by filing O. P. No. 827 of 2002. It had been disposed of on 8. 1. 2002 directing the Joint Registrar to consider the matter appropriately and orders passed thereon. By Ext. P3 dated 22. 3. 2002, the Joint Registrar had cancelled the entire proceedings taken up for recruitment. An appeal thereupon had been preferred before the Government. However, the Government had upheld the orders passed by the departmental officer (Ext. P5 ). Exts. P3 and P5 orders are under challenge. The circumstances leading to the recruitment, the counsel for the petitioner submits, are highly relevant to notice the level of arbitrariness employed. A junior Clerk of the Clappana Service Cooperative Bank had retired from service on 31. 03. 2001. A salesman, who had been qualified for promotion already on the rolls, had been promoted to the vacancy so resulted. This vacancy was decided to be filled up and that had been notified by Ext. P1. The Bank is classified as Class IV, as stipulated in Appendix III of the Kerala Cooperative Societies Rules. The normal staff strength admissible to such a society is seven, but at the time of notification only five posts were being operated which were that of Secretary (1), Senior Clerk (1), Junior Clerk (1), Attender (1) and Peon (1 ). It appears that immediately before Ext. P1, there were two Attenders working, and therefore one of them was promoted. The Joint Registrar has taken a view that since the Bank was working on loss, the appointment will result in additional expenditure. He also observed that on an examination of the working, he was of the opinion that instead of a Salesman it would have been in the better interest of the Bank, if appointment to the cadre of a Clerk was made, as the present Junior Clerk was overburdened with work.
(3.) IT is evident that the initial stay order and the subsequent proceedings interdicting the Bank from going on with the recruitment was on the allegation that there were irregularities in the process of selection. However, in respect of the said allegations, Ext. P3 has held that there was no sufficient evidence to substantiate the accusations. Nevertheless the officer has made an observation that notwithstanding these, it cannot conclusively be stated that there was no illegal gratification, irregularity or favouritism involved. The Government while considering the appeal had endorsed the view, and observed that the reasons stated by Ext. P3 were valid.;

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