Shimla, Mar 9
Himachal Pradesh High Court on Tuesday passed an order setting aside the appointment of two employees done in Mar 2010 ordering the State government to hold an inquiry into the entire episode and initiate disciplinary or criminal, or both, proceedings against the erring officers who were justifying the illegal appointments. A 23-page order was passed by the single bench of Justice Justice Tarlok Singh Chauhan, copy of which is with us.
The court said that the appointments of respondents No. 3 and 4 as Assistant Personnel Officer (E-I) and Junior Officer (P&A) in the Himachal Pradesh Power Corporation limited
vide letters dated 4.3.2010 are quashed and set aside. The HPPCL respondent (No.1) was directed to consider the case of the petitioner as Personnel Assistant Officer in place of respondent No.3 and consequently recommendations made by the selection committee on Feb 19. 2010 are quashed and set aside.
The court warned the state and public sector unit that it had ignored similar orders made by the court on the earlier occasion, instead of mending their ways the official respondents filed a supplementary affidavit again trying to justify the appointment of private respondents even after knowing fully well their appointments were illegal. The court held that private respondents have not chosen to contest the petition and yet it is respondents No. 1 and 2(HP state electricity Board) who are pleading on their behalf.
The court inferred from the stand taken by the state SPV in such circumstances and permitting such state of affairs to continue by simply quashing the appointment of respondents No. 3 and 4, would not be doing complete justice between the parties. Therefore, the court directed the Additional Chief Secretary (Power) to personally hold an enquiry into the entire episode and initiate disciplinary or criminal, or both, proceedings against the erring officers irrespective of whether these officers are serving or retired. Such inquiry is to be completed as expeditiously as possible and in no event later than six months.
The court found that the petitioner has been dragged in the unwarranted or otherwise avoidable litigation, therefore, he is entitled to costs of litigation and damages, which is assessed at Rs. 1,00,000/- to be paid initially by respondents No. 1 and 2 to be recovered from erring officers. The court allowed the instant petition of the petitioner Roshan Lal who had challenged the appointment of two respondents terming them it largesse of the government. The court has fixed the next date of hearing for compliance on Sep 8, 2022.